Friday, November 25, 2011

Unions take pay cut at Atlantic Yards

From the Brooklyn Paper:

Union workers are coming to Bruce Ratner’s rescue — again! — agreeing to take massive pay cuts to pave the way for the first residential building at Atlantic Yards, a cut-rate, pre-fabricated tower to rise next to the Barclays Center.

Labor unions provided crucial support for Ratner when his controversial, $5-billion project was moving through the approval process five years ago in exchange for a promise of high-paying jobs. But the agreement currently being negotiated between union leaders and Ratner, workers would give up millions of dollars in pay to allow the developer to move forward with the cheaper, modular building.

It is unclear how much money will be lost to laborers, but carpenters make as much as $90 an hour in wages and benefits at real construction sites, but only $30 per hour when working inside the kind of factory where Ratner will build the pre-fabricated units.

Many union leaders merely shrugged when asked about the pay cuts, suggesting that if the workers don’t give back, the project might not go ahead, leaving laborers with no work at all.


cmdrtebok said...

The only thing that could make this rendering look worse would be to plaster it with FEDDERS.

Anonymous said...

where's Mel Appelbaum on this one?

Liman said...

Another union story... I don't think there's any 'cut' involved. A union construction carpenter gets a compensation package that costs the employer $90 an hour (the workers don't actually GET that amount, most of it goes into union benefits funds, some of which the workers never see). Why $90 an hour? Because the collective bargaining agreement that covers actual construction requires this.

BUT... building pre-fab sections is not "construction." It's more like production line factory work performed indoors. The collective bargaining agreement that covers carpentry work like that is VERY different.

So.. this is nothing unusual. Union construction is withering away because of its ridiculously high cost. This is a different method of construction - still union - but a piece of the job can be performed less expensively.

If you had to pay for this, you'd do it this way, too.