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Long IslandPoliticsSpin Cycle

Union backlash in Brooklyn project over wages

In case you thought all was tranquil on the organized-labor front this holiday season, a group of construction industries is agitating against a downtown Brooklyn development project supported by New York City government based on the absence of a pledge to keep wages at a certain level. From its organizers:

A coalition of labor unions kicked off a campaign to demand that Acadia Realty Trust pay construction workers decent wages and benefits at the City Point project in downtown Brooklyn.

"The City Point project was paid for, in part, by $20 million in public subsidies and it’s being built on City-owned land," said Terry Moore, Business Manager and Financial Secretary Treasurer of Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46. "Therefore, Acadia Realty Trust owes it to the community to offer good wages and benefits to our workers. We cannot allow public funds to drive down our standards and hurt the economy," he added.

“After taking public money and using public land for this development project, Acadia has an obligation to hire only responsible contractors who will pay construction workers decent wages and benefits,” said Gary LaBarbera, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

“The NYC Building Trades are standing united to oppose subsidies for developers like Acadia who shortchange our communities. More importantly, key construction unions have vowed to stand united and refuse to work on City Point unless Acadia commits to hire responsible construction contractors that will provide decent wages and benefits to all construction workers on the project,” said Richard O’Kane, Business Manager of Ironworkers Local 361.

Coalition members have asked Acadia to disclose the wages and benefits being paid to construction workers on the City Point project, but, so far, the company has not provided the requested information.

The public campaign hopes to highlight Acadia’s refusal to hire only contractors who provide the statutorily defined prevailing wages and benefits for their construction employees working on the City Point project.

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