FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, July 1, 2013
Hundreds of New York City District Council (DC) carpenters went on strike Monday after months of stalled negotiations with one of its largest contractor associations. This strike of more than 350 members will affect major construction projects around New York City and New Jersey.
“Nobody wants a strike, especially during the celebration of our country’s independence, but if we concede any further it would be detrimental to all of our members and their families,” said Stephen McInnis, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the New York City District Council of Carpenters.
The tipping point was the association’s demand for drastic wage and benefit cuts.
The Manufacturing Woodworkers Association of Greater New York (MWA), which employs union members from various District Council locals, demands a wage freeze and a second-tier employee system with lower wages and benefits.
The DC made a number of concessions to the MWA, both before and during negotiations.
The MWA’s unreasonable position isn’t good faith bargaining, according to union officials. “It’s bleeding a turnip.”
This work stoppage directly impacts more than 350 hard working New Yorkers and their families. Their work includes constructing and installing architectural woodwork and cabinetry, store interiors and fixtures, display and exhibit equipment, and architectural metal products.
Certain construction projects at 4 World Trade Center, the General Motors building on Fifth Avenue and 59th Street and the Time Warner building at Columbus Circle could be potentially halted if the workers remain on strike.
On average, members covered by this MWA contract make approximately $31 per hour with benefits. The council has started a strike fund and an assistance hotline to help its members who are now out of work.
With more than 20,000 members in eight locals, the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters is one of the largest, most powerful trade unions in the construction industry.