Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Extell’s One Hudson Yards is set to soar


Extell chief Gary Barnett is reviving a long-dormant, $ 1-billion Far West Side development project — and he’s brashly named it “One Hudson Yards” even though it’s technically not part of the rail yards site.

Extell just tapped Jones Lang LaSalle to find tenants for the 56-story, 1.7 million square office tower to rise on the east blockfront of 11th Avenue between W. 33rd and 34th streets. The project was first announced in 2009, when Barnett was to partner with Israel Green in what was then called the World Product Center. But plans for the arresting, Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower went on hold. Extell and Green parted ways and the site is today an empty lot.

Now, Barnett’s again itching to build. “We believe we have the best location in the area, on terra firma [rather than above a rail yard]. We’re right at the new No. 7 line subway station, at the foot of a new park and across from the Javits Convention Center,” he said.

Barnett won’t start construction without pre-leasing half the tower — “at the rents we’re going to charge, it would be suicidal,” he said. Asked what the rents might be, he said with a laugh, “Between $50 and $100 a square foot.”

Related Cos. is the designated developer of the Hudson Yards rail site bounded by 10th and 12th avenues and West 30th-33rd streets. Extell’s site is just north of it in what city officials call the “Hudson Yards area.”

Ironworkers bend on wages


The ironworkers' union—desperate to regain market share from surging nonunion construction, and afraid of missing out on lucrative work at Hudson Yards and the Tappan Zee Bridge—has agreed to an unprecedented wage and benefit rollback. It's already shaking up development in the city.

Members of Metallic Lathers and Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46 voted earlier this month to cut their overall compensation by 15%, or by about $14 an hour, and to work-rule changes that could slash total project costs by up to 25%..

The 1,500-member union relinquished a 4% raise this year and cut next year's scheduled 4% increase to 2%. Wages and benefits will now total $79 an hour instead of the $93 the union had previously won in -negotiations..

In addition, the union members agreed to allow on job sites a higher percentage of apprentices, who earn less than half the standard pay, and to expand the workday to eight hours from seven.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Remembering nation's vets, even as Memorial Day's importance seems to fade

By John Farmer/The Star-Ledger

Another Memorial Day. It always brings back memories, distant ones of days long gone, of parades and bemedaled men, many marching in uniform, neighbors who’d been through the fire.

The Memorial Day parades after World War II (Decoration Day then) were celebrations of more than victory. They celebrated the fulfillment of the implicit promise of the nation’s founders that their infant democracy would not merely lead the world but, in time, save it. As it surely did in World War II.

Everybody had a part, not just those who fought. So did the women who nursed the wounded and those at home who worked in the factories that became arsenals of democracy. (Remember "Rosie the Riveter"?)

Even men who weren’t called served. They registered for the military draft and took their chances like everyone else. Some were eager to serve but couldn’t because of medical problems or because they held civilian jobs vital to the war effort.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

This Guy Has Balls!

I know it's not union news, but give it a look, very funny.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Office of the Inspector General: Operation “GOTCHA”

Members’ complaints lead to Inspector General uncovering contract and OSHA violations threatening safety of Dockbuilder divers. The Office of the Inspector General, upon receiving multiple complaints pertaining to saftey conditions of Dockbuilders diving operations, began investigating numerous worksites where work was being performed by Signatory Contractors.

This investigation was narrowed down to various active jobsites. Grievances were filed against the Signatory Contractors that violated District Council Collective Bargaining Agreements (“CBAs”). In addition, 17 members were found to be in violation of the Constitution of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and the Bylaws of the District Council.

The investigation stemmed from Hotline calls received by the Office of the Inspector General reporting that numerous Signatory Contractors invovled in diving operations covered under CBAs and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) regulations, were not following the correct procedures when conducting the diving operations.

The grievances that were filed by the Office of the Inspector General will be followed up by the District Council Grievance Committee, which is headed by the Director of Operations, Matt Walker. The charges that will be filed by this office will be referred to the Chair and Co-chair of the District Council Trial Committee, Walter Mack and Jim Zazzeli, respectfully.

The grievances filed and the charges to be filed in connection to this investigation are based merely upon accusations. All contractors and members are considered innocent until proven guilty by the Grievance Committee or the Trial Committee.

The Office of the Inspector General would like to extend its gratitude to the Labor Technical College and OSHA, which were both consulted during this investigation, for their cooperation in this matter.

The Office of the Inspector General would like to thank all the members that contacted this office to report these violations. The safety of all members is a concern of the Office of the Inspector General and of this District Council.

At this time, the investigation is still open and ongoing.

Fraternal Order of Woodworkers 2012 Contract Memorandum

Prospects of the New York City District Council’s contract negotiations have many F.O.W. members anxious about the upcoming deliberations that will shape our industry for the future. For years our component of the construction trade has been observing drastic transformations and the weakening of the installation of Architectural Woodworking in New York City. With the sweeping decline of union woodworking shops, international agreements, company requests and the rise of companies who only perform installations, the average N.Y.C. Woodworking journeyman is seeing less time on their tools.

Many have been required to install a product made from non-union shops and are faced with the alternative of installing or forfeiting their employment. The “Hot Cargo” and National Labor Relations Board rulings are being used by installation companies and contractors to force our members to make decisions that no good union member should have to deal with. We need the support from our union to initiate new policies and campaigns that will try to reawaken the developers what a good union vocation can achieve. A “hands on” certification for all new “Out Of Work List” woodworkers candidates and perhaps creating a “specialty” local which would help to protect and ensure more work for the qualified craftsmen. With the recent discouraging Favorite Nations Clause situation, we especially need to reach out to all union members to unite, protect and represent those whom hold this craft in high regard.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Steward Review Operating Procedures

Memo posted on Council website.
What's going on inside the District Council? On Friday, May 18, EST Mike Bilello posted a memo on the councils website regarding "Steward Review Operating Procedures", that left many members confused, scratching their heads and wondering what Bilello is talking about.

I will attempt to explain and clarify the memo for you.

Section 12 (K) of the District Council By-Laws, requires the Executive Committee to develop and preside over a uniform system of Shop Steward review and sentencing guidelines,which shall be adopted by the Delegate Body. The By-laws required the development of said system by March 15, 2012 or thereafter be developed and implemented by the Review Officer.

In attempting to comply with this By-law provision the council distributed the Shop Steward Operating Procedures to all delegates on May 9th..

From the Bilello Memo:

"Brothers and Sisters, Prior to the May 9th delegate meeting, a packet was distributed to all delegates that contained draft "Steward Review Operating Procedures," as well as draft "Steward Review Sentencing Guidelines." These documents were included in response to delegates rightfully demanding the receipt of all material for review well in advance before they are asked to vote on whether or not to approve."

"While it was in the interest of satisfying that demand, they were distributed before the Executive Officers of the Council had a chance to review them."

Bilello is playing fast and loose with the facts.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

$90M midtown penthouse tops mark for priciest New York City apartment

Duplex bought by 'someone people would recognize' at One57 caps string of huge deals

By Jason Sheftell / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 

 ONE57 Extell Most Luxurious Development 2012


Record-setting buyer at One57 should get a Central Park view like this for his or her $90 million.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Construction Industry's Workforce Shortage Brings Concerns, but Green Jobs Bring Promise, According to New McGraw-Hill Construction Report

NEW YORK, May 17, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --The construction industry is concerned about skilled worker shortages, according to a new SmartMarket Report from McGraw-Hill Construction entitled "Construction Industry Workforce Shortages: Role of Certification, Training and Green Jobs in Filling the Gaps." It is the first study to focus exclusively on design and construction professionals and trade workers. Skilled workers have left the industry as a result of the economic downturn, an aging workforce and an insufficient pipeline of younger workers, according to the new study released at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition this week in Washington, DC. The study shows that 69% of architect, engineer, and contractor (AEC) professionals expect skilled workforce shortages in next three years; 32% of AEC are concerned about a shortage of specialty trade contractors by 2014; 49% of the general contractors are concerned about finding skilled craft workers by 2017, and 37% of architect and engineering firms are concerned about finding experienced workers. Skilled green workers are in even more demand; 86% of architects and engineers and 91% of contractors are finding too few green skilled employees.

Facing the loss of employees in the construction professions, industry professionals are worried they may have lost those skills, and uncertainty about interest by the next generation raises concerns about being able to fill gaps in the future. In a separate but related survey McGraw-Hill Construction conducted for the American Institute of Architects (AIA), 79% of architecture firms are not sure the U.S. student pipeline will be sufficient to replace those leaving the profession, a problem exacerbated by the 76% of U.S. architecture students/recent graduates who would consider working abroad.

"The downturn in construction activity may be masking a serious problem in the construction industry workforce," said Harvey Bernstein, vice president, Industry Insights and Alliances for McGraw-Hill Construction. "But the rise of green jobs and more availability of training and professional certifications can help to attract interest in the professions and make firms more competitive."

City's job gains in 2012 are best in 60 years

The city's unemployment rate improved in April.
New York City added 12,000 private-sector jobs in April, bringing this year's gain to 60,000, marking the best four months since the 1950s, data released Thursday show. Unemployment rate dips to 9.5%.

By Daniel Massey

The city gained an eye-popping 12,000 private-sector jobs in April, bringing total private-sector growth to 60,000 for the year, the best four-month streak since the 1950s, according to an analysis of state Department of Labor data released Thursday.

The unemployment rate finally caught wind of the gains, inching downward after three consecutive months when it rose in defiance of job growth. It ticked down to 9.5%, from 9.7% in March. The city netted 10,200 jobs last month after losses in the public sector, according to the analysis by real estate services firm Eastern Consolidated.

“We usually see strong growth in the first couple of months of the year, only to see the pattern slow down by mid-year,” said Barbara Byrne Denham, chief economist at Eastern Consolidated. “But we're not seeing that. The fact that it's still going strong says there's some serious momentum in the local economy.”

James Brown, principal economist at the Department of Labor, singled out the construction industry, which was one of the hardest hit during the recession, for “starting to show a little life.” Hotels, public works and stalled residential projects that have picked up are leading the way, he said. The industry added 1,300 jobs in April on a seasonally adjusted basis.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Labor leader Ed Malloy dies at 77

A former steamfitter, Mr. Malloy steered the city and state construction trades council for nearly two decades until his retirement earlier this year.

By Daniel Massey

Edward Malloy, a dapper, tireless labor leader who steered the city and state construction trades council for nearly two decades, died Tuesday after a bout with cancer. He was 77.

A veteran of the U.S. Army and a former steamfitter, Mr. Malloy served as president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York from 1992 to 2008 and as president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council from 1992 until his retirement earlier this year. “His hard work and wit allowed him to pass easily from union halls to business board rooms and the chambers of government,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

Perhaps Mr. Malloy's proudest moment was serving as grand marshal of the St. Patrick's' Day Parade in 2001. But he was a driving force for private economic development and public infrastructure improvements throughout the city and state, promoting measures to contain construction costs and maximize employment opportunities for his members.

“He worked tirelessly with public officials, investors and labor leaders to get major infrastructure projects off the ground and create jobs in every corner of the state,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“What was unique about Eddie was he was not only a labor leader, but an industry and civic leader,” said Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association. “He cared deeply about the future direction of the city.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Page Six

We hear...THAT on Friday May 4th, the Manufacturing Woodworking Association (MWA) won in arbitration a lawsuit it brought against the District Council, having to do with a sweetheart deal made in 2007 by Dennis Sheils, (former disgraced Vice President of the corrupt Forde administration) with Gilbert Displays, an out-of-Association contractor.

According to the Most Favored Nations clause of the MWA Agreement, the arbitrator found that the District Council is liable for the difference MWA shops paid to their employees going back to 2007, and now all MWA members will be given the same deal, which amounts to a $10 pay cut, and diminished benefit package.

Executive Secretary-Treasurer Mike Bilello did not report on the loss at Wednesday's Delegate meeting until a Local 2790 delegate brought the subject up towards the end of the meeting. When questioned Bilello estimated the liability to be at $10 million dollars. When asked if the rank and file will be informed about the loss on the District Councils website, Bilello replied "No, there's nothing to report."

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Many Irish helping One World Trade Center reach new heights in New York City

Meeting the Irish -- and my family -- on the sacred site of the World Trade Center and Tower 4

The Irish working at the One World Trade Center site
The Irish working at the One World Trade Center site

By KERRY O’SHEA, IrishCentral Staff Writer

In many ways, the Irish working at the One World Trade Center today can parallel the Irish helping to build New York City over a century ago.

Rebuilding the World Trade Center is a massively symbolic act, a gesture of defiance in the face of al-Qaeda and those who gave us the worst days of our lives on September 11 and in its aftermath. I am very proud to have a brother and father involved in the reconstruction of what many Americans consider a sacred site.

Out of the ashes of the WTC has come a new series of buildings; bigger, better, a defiant symbol in the sky of American determination to move on from the shattered past and create a brighter future.

Now just over ten years since tragedy struck on September 11th, lower Manhattan is being reshaped as the new World Trade Center rises into the skyline. Among the hundreds of construction workers lending their skills to help raise the several new buildings, many are Irish and of Irish American descent.

I’m proud to say I have two close connections to the construction of the new World Trade Center. My father, John O’Shea, a foreman with Eurotech Construction and member of the Local Carpenters Union 157, and my brother Patrick, a fourth year apprentice with the NYC District Council Carpenters, are both employed down at Tower Four at the site.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Powers of New York

(John's note: this article was in Sundays paper and features Steven Ross as one of the power players in New York City real estate. )

Influence in New York is now wielded by a larger and more diverse array of people. As part of a special issue of Metropolitan, here’s a look at who is at the top and who may be on the way, as identified by the reporters of The New York Times.

Steven M. Ross

The developer Stephen M. Ross is not afraid of a fight. Mr. Ross, 72, the chairman and chief executive of Related Companies, has clashed with fellow developers like Donald Trump and Joseph Moinian, and has wrestled with New York’s powerful construction unions over wages and work rules. Now, at the planned $15 billion, 26-acre Hudson Yards development on the West Side of Manhattan, he is trying to overhaul the way projects are built in the city by getting more concessions from the unions and by eliminating subcontractors, cutting a traditional layer of costs.

It is unclear if he will win, but it is hard to bet against him. Mr. Ross and his partners at Related built the $1.7 billion Time Warner Center — twin 80-story towers at Columbus Circle with shops, a hotel and luxury apartments — after a 16-year battle over the site, and he is trying to revive the long-stalled transformation of the James A. Farley Post Office into Moynihan Station. In his latest scheme, he has offered to build Borough of Manhattan Community College a larger campus inside the post office in exchange for the school’s land downtown.

In fact, Related is juggling six projects in the city right now, including the first phase of Hunters Point South, the largest affordable-housing complex built in New York since the 1970s. On the weekends, Mr. Ross has been trying to turn the Miami Dolphins, the N.F.L. franchise he bought for $1.1 billion, into a championship team.

Permits Climb As Developers Up Their Bets


Manhattan is starting to shake off its construction doldrums and could see the first flurry of building activity since the recession, according to the city's Department of Buildings.

Manhattan experienced a 169% spike in new building permits issued so far this year, according to the buildings department, which issued 35 permits for construction including hotels, apartment buildings, an "affordable housing" development and an art gallery in the first four months of 2012. That is up from 13 in the same period last year.

"We are bullish that big building is coming back to New York City," the buildings commissioner, Robert LiMandri, said in an interview.

Manhattan new-building permits issued so far this year are still below 2008 levels, when 42 permits were issued in the first four months of the year.

But the latest spike in permits reflects developers' growing confidence in certain sectors, especially demand for rental housing and hotels, even while demand for office space lags.

Some developers receiving permits this year have been able to get loans already and, in some cases, have already broken ground. They include the Brodsky Organization on a new condo on 79th Street and Barone Management on two Gene Kaufman-designed hotels in Hudson Square.

"It certainly seems like there's more cranes in the air today. I actually know the answer and there are," Mr. LiMandri said.

Much of the latest activity is concentrated in the Hudson Yards area and Harlem—two areas that were poised for change during the previous boom but were also hit hard when the economy collapsed in 2008.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Audio files of the May 03, 2012 RO - EST Town Hall Meeting

By Joseph

RO - EST Town Hall Meeting of May 3rd 2012 Audio files

  • The nominated candidates for the trustee position of the NYCDCC speaking. 
  • Discussion about a NEW Out of Work List. 
  • Welfare Benfit Issues Question an Answers 
  • An EXCELLENT Expanation about 8f and 9A Aggrement By OUR NYCDCC Labor Attorney
(tip: click play then pause and wait for download to load)

 Part 1

iPhone user click here for download.

Part 2

iPhone user click here for download.

Friday, May 4, 2012

10 years, 232 days, 3 hours and 44 minutes later, World Trade Center tower is back on top in NYC

By Steve Strunsky

NEW YORK — It was a memorable day for everyone at One World Trade Center, including Ed Peterson, a union carpenter who has worked there for three years.

A friend of his was among 37 Port Authority Police officers killed on 9/11, so working on the tower has been much more than just a job for Peterson, of Oceanside, N.Y.

At 2:12 p.m., Monday became a monumental day for him and his coworkers at the building formerly known as Freedom Tower.

At that moment, a crane lowered a 26-foot interior steel column into the hands of ironworkers on the 100th floor.

That brought the tower’s height to 1,271 feet, and raised it above the Empire State Building as New York City’s tallest skyscraper.

Sept 11.JPG
Later, on the ground, Peterson couldn’t contain his emotions as he talked about how the tower’s progress has helped him deal with the loss of his friend. Turning toward the sparkling glass building, he said, "How can’t you be proud of that."

Like the tower itself, pride soared to new heights. The technologically and emotionally complex structure’s crowning as New York’s tallest was hailed as a triumph of American ingenuity and commitment over the terrorists who destroyed the original Twin Towers more than 10 years ago.

At 1,368 feet, those towers had reigned as the city’s tallest buildings from 1972 until their destruction restored the title to the Empire State Building. That symbol of New York City was built in 1930-31 to a height of 1,250 feet, not including a 204-foot antenna.

"What you see here today is a tremendous determination to rebuild, even higher, what we lost," said Bill Baroni, deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the tower’s developer. He addressed reporters gathered on the tower’s 71st floor to watch video monitors showing the column’s lowering.

Baroni noted Monday also marked the 91st anniversary of the Port Authority’s creation, and was the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

When completed in late 2013 or early 2014, WTC 1 will top out at 104 floors, while standing 1,776 feet high, including a 408-foot antenna. This will make it the tallest building in the western hemisphere.

The tallest manmade structure in the Western Hemisphere will continue to be the 2,063-foot-tall KVLY-TV antenna in Blanchard, N.D. And the world’s tallest building is the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, which opened in 2010 and reaches 2,717 feet.

Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye said the three-million-square-foot, $3.8 billion tower would be among the safest buildings in the world. Its intended uses are highlighted by office space, a state-of-the-art broadcast facility, and public observation deck.

Jody Durst, president of the Durst Organization, which manages the property, said Monday’s milepost would enhance its already considerable appeal to tenants and tourists. Durst said he was confident the building, now 55 percent leased, would be fully occupied upon completion.

"When we start bringing prospective tenants up and they get a look at these views," he said, the building will lease itself.

Thursday, May 3, 2012