From City Hall News:
In June 2008, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, Stuart Appelbaum, stood on the steps of City Hall to praise the city’s Economic Development Corporation.
Along with several other powerful union bosses, Appelbaum touted the EDC plan to jumpstart a long-stalled, $3 billion project at Willets Point in Queens, because he said it would lead to the creation of so-called “living wage” retail jobs for his workers – paying a minimum of $10 an hour.
“It won’t just mean thousands of jobs,” Appelbaum said. “It will mean thousands of construction and permanent jobs that pay prevailing wages and living wages.”
Appelbaum’s contentions that his members could expect living wage jobs at Willets Point were based upon by a letter penned in April 2008 by Robert Lieber, then the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, to the then-head of the city’s umbrella labor organization, Gary LaBarbera.
“NYCEDC will view favorably development plans that maximize the number of jobs that meet the City’s living wage and health benefits standards,” Lieber wrote. “The proposal must explain how the proposed tenanting plan maximizes the number of jobs that meet these criteria.”
Yet this May – when the EDC put out a 125-page request for Willets Point proposals to developers – there was not a single mention of living wage jobs. It did state that developers had to hire construction contractors who would pay prevailing wage and that some building workers would get prevailing wage salaries—but retail workers were left out completely.
Ah, ok. So memory isn't failing me. I remember quite clearly that living wage was part of the Willets Point deal that the Council voted on in 2008. So the City is allowed to renege on its promises and no one bats an eyelash? Well, let's see...Hiram's gone, Katz is gone, Lieber's gone, Marshall is still around but she's useless. Who is going to call the administration out on the carpet for breaking their promises? Whether or not you agree with a living wage, a deal is a deal, and the Council factored living wage into the equation when they voted on the project.
And where are the unions now? Shouldn't they be protesting this major duping by filing lawsuits and holding rallies on the steps of City Hall? You got the rug pulled out from under you, peeps and have been made to look like fools. Why are you taking this lying down? Where are your cojones?