Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carpenters Join WTC Job Action

Concrete Workers, Contractors at the Negotiating Table

Pasquale Deodata, right, and Michael Pappalardi, center, were among the laborers not working on Tuesday.

Carpenters are refusing to work at a World Trade Center project and other sites in solidarity with cement laborers who have staged a work stoppage as they negotiate a new contract.

More than two-dozen carpenters have joined hundreds of cement workers in a job action at One World Trade Center that began Monday. The cement worker stoppage has slowed construction there and on the World Trade Center's new transit hub, both being built by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, according to people familiar with the matter.

The New York City District Council of Carpenters, which represents New York City carpenters, said it has not encouraged the job action. The union is negotiating a new contract.

Concrete workers also didn't show up for work at the new Weill Cornell Medical Center on East 69th Street for the second day in a row, according to the same people. Other work sites on Monday also reported job actions by concrete workers.

"Some people did come back on some jobs" on Tuesday, said Louis Coletti, president of Building Trades Employers' Association, an umbrella group that represents contractors. "But most of the jobs—they didn't show up."

The work stoppage has contractors worried it could cause serious delays at the World Trade Center. A lack of concrete could eventually bring construction there to a halt

"Nobody is happy that this happened," said Denise Richardson, managing director of General Contractors Association of New York, which represents management, but is not involved in concrete worker contract talks. "I think on all sides everyone is talking to their respective partners and encouraging everyone to come to an agreement."

The Cement League, a contractors' association that represents management, and the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council, representing concrete workers, went back to the negotiating table on Tuesday. The previous contract covering more than 2,000 concrete workers expired about a month ago.

People familiar with the negotiations say the main dispute is about the contractors' demand that workers accept a 20% reduction in pay and benefits for residential work versus commercial work. Unions are fighting that demand.

The union and the Cement League declined to comment.

Carpenters joined concrete workers near the World Trade Center site Tuesday—though they did not form a picket line and have not authorized a strike. Carpenters said they were there to show solidarity.

"Once they do one union with a 20% cut, they are going to do them all. It's not fair," said carpenter Nathaniel Soto


  1. All carpenters should support their line and not cross it.

    It doesn't matter that McCarron bailed on the AFL-CIO & that he himself is a rat. The fact is, the Blow Up Rat is a window into his mind on how he views himself!

    Any Union member who crosses another brother or sisters picket line is himself a rat and not worthy of being in the Union.

    What is done to one - is done to All. Remember that all you rat bastards who cross another mans line - especially when the BTEA porks you for 20% off your Net Pay.

    You can be a man or be mouse, more aptly - a Rat, so what's it gonna be?



    Friday, July 11, 2008
    Report Urges Nonunion Labor Use

    By PETER KIEFER, Staff Reporter of the Sun

    The use of nonunion labor for the construction of "affordable" housing could serve as a remedy to the skyrocketing construction costs that are slowing development in New York City, the Manhattan Institute says.

    In a 40-page report examining the reasons for soaring construction costs, which have been rising 10% annually, the think tank says efforts by construction unions to impose a "prevailing wage" at affordable housing construction sites result in "further costs by requiring developers to prove that they are in compliance with the law."

    The president of the Building Trades Employers' Association, Louis Colletti, called the report's recommendation of nonunion labor "absurd."

    "If you want to continue to build substandard housing in terms of quality and safety, then continue to use nonunion companies," he said.

    The president of the New York Building Congress, Richard Anderson, said that because of the limited construction budgets for affordable housing, the use of nonunion labor is often the only feasible solution.

    Still, he added, "This is a valid area of investigation, but I would not support this recommendation."

    A global construction boom, soaring costs of land, labor, steel, and concrete, among other materials, and an increasingly Byzantine city permit process have made construction in New York City more expensive than in other American metropolitan areas, the report says. Constructing a square foot of office space in New York costs $400, it says, more than double the cost in Chicago and Atlanta, where it is $189 and $154, respectively.

    The construction cost per square foot increased to $428 a square foot in 2008 from $360 in 2006 for a typical residential building.

    "It's not just one thing, it is everything," the author of the report and a consultant in urban and regional economics, Rosemary Scanlon, said.

    A more streamlined permitting process, continued rezoning, a reduction in the liability of developers, and more tax abatements could help reduce the costs, she said.

    Mr. Anderson said the recently implemented safety regulations imposed by the Department of Buildings has affected his members. "Even greater attention to safety means the cost will go up even more. We are not complaining, but just pointing out the realities and the cost implications of the added safety requirements," he said.

    Asked whether the use of nonunion labor could affect the quality of the construction, Ms. Scanlon said the developers and contractors she spoke with "never implied that nonunion work was shoddy."

    A spokeswoman for the city's Economic Development Corp., Janel Patterson, said: "The city is engaged in a study looking at the escalating costs of construction, and analyzing a broad set of potential cost drivers. We are working now to develop actionable strategies moving forward."


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