Wednesday, October 1, 2008

WPIRA Response to LaGuardia Workforce Retraining Program

It's shameful that the City is proceeding with its "workforce retraining" at Willets Point before the City Council has even voted on this project. The Administration appears to be dead set on dismantling a thriving industrial area and union jobs in spite of numerous signs that difficult economic times are ahead of us. It is irresponsible for this Administration to continue to promote a project that will cost the city upwards of $3 billion at a time when budgets are being slashed and services are being curtailed.

Just today, the New York Times reported that, "Most transactions in commercial real estate are on hold," said Mary Ann Tighe, regional chief executive for CB Richard Ellis, the real estate brokerage firm, "because nobody can be sure what the economy will look like, not only in the near term, but in the long term."

Today's event by LaGuardia Community College was nothing more than a PR stunt designed to deflect attention away from the many unanswered questions surrounding this project. LaGuardia admits that it can only expect a 25% success rate. What is to happen with the other workers in Willets Point? It's time for the City to start providing real details on relocating the high paying jobs that are already in Willets Point. The working men and women of Willets Point deserve more than the empty promises currently being offered. This roll out of LaGuardia is just more smoke and mirrors from the Administration before the City Council vote. It avoids the message the City Council has sent to the Administration that this plan in long on ideas and short on details.

Jerry Antonacci
Crown Container
WPIRA Member

Photo from Times Ledger which has an article about the confrontation.


Anonymous said...

first they complain that they are not doing anything now they complain when something happens..

Anonymous said...

Except that it sounds like nothing happened.

Anonymous said...

They complain because an offer of retraining side-steps the primary desire: that the existing businesses be guaranteed survival and relocation. Instead, existing, successful businesses will close by the dozens, and their owners will be retrained to work as employees for other companies.

A successful small business is an extraordinary thing and should be considered sacred. New Yorkers should not tolerate a plan which shutters successful small businesses and causes people to lose ownership in favor of becoming hospitality industry employees.

Anonymous said...

training is for EMPLOYEES not business owners you DOLT

Anonymous said...

The owners who rent will be retrained and will probably close.

That's 90% of the owners at WP.

Anonymous said...

business owners who rent will move their businesses.

Anonymous said...

Not if the workers can't commute to the new location. And not all locations are good for business which means they're toast.

back for more ccc said...

why does anyone have to be retrained if were getting relocated like the city says? my guys don't need retraining if i'm still in business. stop all the bs and realise the edc has yet to accomplish what the need to accomplish and that is the reason your highness claire must get 75 nobodys to stand next to her for a photo-op and try to get media attention with this retraining bus in willets point. you can't cover up that the edc is not doing their job like they lie to everyone and say you are

Anonymous said...

if you are still in business and employing people then they dont necessarily NEED any training.

But why would you intimidate people who actually WANT to take advantage of a FREE program to potentially better them selves??

BY picketing and disrupting you are preventing people from getting education and training which is very unfair and selfish

Anonymous said...

When a business owner's business is not relocated by the City, and there is no suitably zoned place for the business to go, then that business will close forever.

Under the City's plan, the owner of that closed business is to be retrained to become someone else's employee, likely in the hospitality industry (for example, delivering room service to guests of the Marriott Shulman Center, or delivering luggage to their rooms).

Thus, successful industrial business owners will lose their businesses, and be converted into hospitality industry employees who serve convention and sports events attendees.

If that occurs, it will leave a deep, permanent negative mark on whatever development may be built, as well as the reputations of all those institutions and people who cause it.

Anonymous said...

That's just a ridiculous comment

No business owner is going to be "retrained" as a room service bus boy

That's just alarmist ridiculous palbum being spewed right there

Anonymous said...

so Laguardia Community College has classes on advanced bell hop???

Comments like that make you loose all credibility

Anonymous said...

It is the City's plan that is ridiculous, not the comment, which accurately describes it.

A successful small business is to be considered sacred, not disposable. Bloomberg of all people should know this and plan accordingly.

In the absence of any suitable relocation package, existing Willets Point small businesses will die.

Under the City's plan, their proprietors will become hospitality industry employees. Refer to above comments and recent press articles for details.

Soon we'll know which City Council members, if any, are willing to apply a death sentence to successful small businesses.

Anonymous said...

just like Watson said on younabe the training and education is free for those that want to take advantage of it

Nobody is forced into any poaitions they don't desire.

By protesting you are intimidating your fellow workers from potentially improving their life

Why would you prevent workers from potentially bettering themselves??

If you have a business and employ people with good benefits and working conditions they will stay with you

Anonymous said...

if you are a successful small business and renting your land you are at the mercy of your landlord.. This is the case all throughout America

If they sell their property you have to move. You should stop wasting time protesting and plan for the day you have to relocate

Anonymous said...

if you are an accomplished honest auto mechanic no one is going to take your wrench and hand you a spatula

That's a silly comment

You should be able to work anywhere you want as an auto mechanic

Anonymous said...

Being at the mercy of a landlord is one thing. But being at the mercy of the City's use of -- or threat to use -- eminent domain, which is beyond the landlord's control, is quite another.

Since the City's actions will deliberately evict existing businesses, its reasonable and fair to expect that the City should assist in relocating them. Surely the City does not want existing successful businesses to die. So, relocation and survival of existing businesses must be the top priority. Indeed, to the greatest extent possible, no business or its employees should be significantly disturbed or suffer any negative consequences, due to the City's desire to transfer property to a private, anonymous developer. Rather, they should be absolutely indemnified against any and all losses they incur before, during and after relocation. Providing such indemnification and relocation would reduce anxiety and lessen resistance among tenant businesses to the proposed redevelopment. And, it's the fair thing to do.

Do you mean to suggest that it's perfectly acceptable for the City to proceed without relocating Willets Point tenant businesses, or indemnifying them? That they must fend for themselves in all respects?

As Hiram Monserrate said a long time ago, with a project costing billions of dollars, there should be no losers. The time has come to fully implement that idea, with no excuses.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the city can relocate an existing business If that business is renting the land without having a conflict with the landlord.

If an ED proceeding should arise then I think the city can work directly with the tenant to relocate to a safer, cleaner location

if a piece of land that is being rented is sold then the city will work to relocate the business that rents the land

But you can't put the cart before the horse

Anonymous said...

The potential conflict with the landlord is a legal issue that is resolvable, if the City is interested in doing the work.

The City intends to acquire all of the property. To the tenant businesses, it matters not whether the acquisition is via willing sale, ED proceeding or other means. From tenant businesses' perspective, the result is the same: For all intents and purposes, they will be required to leave -- evicted. End of story.

Since that is the City's end game, if the City Council approves the proposed redevelopment then there is no justification to delay relocating any tenant business. Indeed, any relocation delay will harm the business, as customers will evaporate in the wake of Council approval.

Anonymous said...

All your statements are based on the city overcoming the hurdle of of negotiating with tenants with valid leases.

Once that hurdle is overcome I'm certain that the tenants will be treated fairly.

Perhaps the City needs to move more swiftly on these absentee landlords who have been raping their land without repercussion for 50 some years.

edc is online said...

it has come to my attention that the edc has beed actively reading and posting anonymous quotes on here to pump up the support when there is none ,you should make everyone put their e-mails down to submit a quote and then lets see what they have to say !!! do your job and relocate then theres no reason to retrain !! tell bob lieber i said hi

Anonymous said...

keep dreaming that this site actually has any relevance

Queens Crapper said...

If it didn't you wouldn't be posting here.

Anonymous said...

Queens Crap gets more traffic than all of the pro-Willets Point developent blogs put together.

Anonymous said...

EVERYONE that is ANYONE in Queens reads Queens Crap.

They may tell the public not to go on, but they read it themselves!

Anonymous said...

Claire Shulman and Helen Marshall should be IN JAIL, for causing the mess at Willets Point. They perpetrated the onerous situation that Willets Point now faces. By not implementing the infrastructure and NORMAL services that NYC residents are entitled to, they were derelict in their duties and should NOT be taken seriously now! And to have the unmitigated 'gall' to lobby for (at best) a suspicious group that is hell bent to get this project done, should remind us all of the 'derelicts' in Washington DC that KNEW what was going on in the financial markets, took money from those financial institutions and NOW say.."What happened here?"..Sound familiar Claire?..What a disgrace to Queens, NYC and the codes of ethical conduct!

Anonymous said...

Seems like someone is investigating Claire Shulman and her lobbying associates. Stay tuned folks.this could get interesting.