Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Work Stoppage Threatens Construction Projects Throughout NYC, Including Ground Zero

The ongoing labor dispute between concrete union workers and developers has meant that work at Ground Zero is slowly grinding to a halt; on the day that the Freedom Tower officially became the tallest building in Lower Manhattan, carpenters walked out in solidarity with the concrete union workers.
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
I understand that developers feel that they're being squeezed on profits for construction projects and that the level of new construction isn't where anyone wants it to be, but they're spiting themselves to go after the unions seeking serious cuts in salaries for these folks. Depending on who you ask, the unions are being asked to cut salaries by 20%.

But at the same time, several of the job actions have occurred at sites where the unions promised no walkouts or union actions to disrupt construction. Those job actions will mean that the court actions pending against them will not go well for the unions.

Moreover, it affects the bottom lines on several key projects around the city, especially at Ground Zero. The Port Authority and Silverstein Properties can ill afford more delays and more costs resulting from work actions.

Groups that are pushing for the elimination of Project Labor Agreements (which were signed by the parties involved and ostensibly prevent strikes and work actions) are using the ongoing disputes to further their own agenda that they should free developers from having to work with the unionized trades.

No comments: