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Union, Developer Strike NYC Hudson Yards Deal

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

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A construction agreement that was initially announced in August has finally been agreed upon, according to the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

The union, along with developer The Related Cos., announced that they had reached an agreement for the second phase of the Hudson Yards project in New York City, saying at the time that the agreement was worth between $75 million and $100 million in wages.

© iStock.com / francois-roux

A construction agreement that was initially announced in August has finally been agreed upon, according to the New York City District Council of Carpenters.

The contract comes in the midst of a legal battle between the developer and a coalition of other unions.

The Contract

The NYDCC reportedly voted in favor of the memorandum of agreement on Friday.

“The partnership is a progressive new model that addresses the market by protecting and preserving good paying jobs for NYDCC members,” Joanna Rose, a spokesperson for Related, said in a statement.

“This type of creative thinking should be replicated throughout the city and the industry and we look forward to more partnerships with union trades on the future phases of Hudson Yards.”

Since the announcement, the MOA has been obtained by The Real Deal, which reported on the rates agreed upon in the contract.

The publication reports that, according to the MOA, high-rise concrete journeymen will receive $85 an hour ($50.12 in wages and $34.88 in benefits) and the average rates of the workers—with a ratio of four journeypersons to three provisional journeypersons to two apprentices to one utility worker—will be $60.45 per hour for high-rise concrete workers and $64.64 per hour for those doing interior work.

ablokhin / Getty Images

The union, along with developer The Related Cos., announced that they had reached an agreement for the second phase of the Hudson Yards project in New York City, saying at the time that the agreement was worth between $75 million and $100 million in wages.

Overall, the wages fall below prevailing rates, anywhere between less than 1 percent to 10.5 percent. The District has touted its use of blended rates before, saying that it’s a way to compete with the rise of non-unions.

“That is why our delegates approved the agreement by an overwhelming majority,” said Joseph Geiger, executive secretary-treasurer of the NYDCC. “The New York City construction market is evolving, the District Council will continue to innovate to ensure our members meet the needs of the market.”

The Dispute

The approval puts to rest skepticism that the agreement existed at all—Building and Construction Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera called the announcement in August 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 at the time.

The BCTC is in the middle of several lawsuits with Related, in which the council has accused the developer of “union busting,” and Related has accused the unions of driving up costs.

   

Tagged categories: Business matters; Condominiums/High-Rise Residential; Contracts; Developers; Unions

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