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Hudson Yards Reaches Agreement with Carpenters

Monday, August 13, 2018

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The developer of the highly touted Hudson Yards project in New York City, The Related Cos., announced last week that it has reached a labor agreement with the New York City District Council of Carpenters for the second phase of the project’s work despite being embroiled in a legal battle with a coalition of other unions.

Officials from Related said that carpenters will potentially earn between $75 million and $100 million in wages building the 2.9 million-square-foot office tower, just one of the facets of the project.

© iStock.com / francois-roux

The developer of the highly touted Hudson Yards project in New York City, The Related Cos., announced last week that it has reached a labor agreement with the New York City District Council of Carpenters for the second phase of the project’s work despite being embroiled in a legal battle with a coalition of other unions.

 

Bruce Beal, president of Related, said in a statement that the company looks “forward to more partnerships with union trades on the future phases of Hudson Yards.”

But the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, a union organizer that has barred members from negotiating with Related, says that the agreement is nothing more than a publicity stunt.

"While Related claims to have 'pulled off a strategic coup' against the Building Trades, there is actually nothing new here and this is simply another press stunt. Related has no loyalty and is using the carpenters as a public relations pawn to engage in union busting," the building trades council said in a statement.

The Battle

Hudson Yards Construction LLC, the division of Related Cos. that filed the complaint earlier this year, alleged that both the union organization and its leader were attempting to prevent “HYC from entering into any agreements with any unions, unless HYC agrees to work with every union."

Related also accused the unions of trying to include corrupt unions in the second phase of the project—unions that allegedly swindled the company out of $100 million during phase one of construction.

Among the accusations are accounts of senior tradesmen being assigned by the Concrete Workers District Council to menial labor, including “coffee boy” duty, a responsibility usually regulated to the most junior member of a unit. In this instance, the suit claims one of the “coffee boys” was the brother of a high-ranking official. Along with a second “coffee boy,” the individuals reportedly charged employees for beverages and food, which made both vendors, rather than the employees they were classified as.

Other allegations in the lawsuit include widespread timesheet fraud, with one worker bringing in $600,000 in annual wages and benefits. Other workers also allegedly inflated their hours by 10 to 20 percent.

The lawsuit states that HYC is justified in deciding that the office building at the Hudson Yards complex would be a project where contracts would be awarded regardless of whether the bidder used union or non-union workers.

HYC is seeking at least $75 million in damages in regard to accusations against the BCTC and its president, Gary LaBarbera, for “interference with prospective economic advantage.” HYC is seeking also seeking $200,000 in damages because LaBarbera allegedly defamed the company.

In March, a spokesperson for the council said: “This is likely a retaliatory response to a movement in New York City, known as #CountMeIn, protesting open shop and non-union development.”

   

Tagged categories: Developers; Lawsuits; Unions

Comment from john lienert, (8/13/2018, 7:33 AM)

where's Tony Soprano when you need him ??


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