Saturday, June 27, 2009

Carpenters Union Agrees on Pay Cuts

by Matthew Schuerman

NEW YORK, NY June 26, 2009 —Thousands of the city's unionized construction workers have agreed to accept lower wages for the promise of more work. The latest concession goes further than a labor agreement from last month that froze wages and limited overtime.

The Building and Construction Trades Council wouldn't give out any information before deadline on which unions would be affected, but WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has details on one union.

REPORTER: Union officials confirmed that the 21,000 member carpenters union has reduced hourly wages from about $43 to $41, and taken an additional $2 hit off of their benefits package.

The lower wages only apply to a handful of projects that were in danger of stalling. One example is Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan, where developer Forest City Ratner was even contemplating building only half of the original height.

Other trade unions say they will take similar action if it means preserving their members jobs.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Looks like they're coming out of the woodwork to support Mayor Bloomberg.

The New York City District Council of Carpenters, which has over 25,000 members, announced this morning that it is endorsing Bloomberg for re-election this November.

"Mayor Bloomberg has the skill and experience to lead New York City through difficult times," Michael Forde, the union's Executive Secretary Treasurer said in a statement.

"Over the last four years, Mayor Bloomberg has been a fighter in our corner. He has made job creation ... a priority issue, and because of that, members of the carpenters' union -- and their families -- have been able to weather this difficult economy far better than our counterparts in other parts of the country."