Friday, February 20, 2015
Protesting tax abatements for luxury developments
Some of the highest priced buildings in New York reap tax benefits paid for by middle-class workers. That’s one reason some of those workers took to the streets on Wednesday. Another was anger by union construction workers over a major developer choosing to not use organized labor to build the country’s tallest residential building.
It’s 111 West 57th Street, between 6th and 7th Avenue. In front of its construction site at noon Wednesday, a couple hundred construction workers gathered for a rally against the building’s developer, JDS Development Corporation. It has stated publicly that it does not intend to build its iconic structure with union labor.
At the rally, workers said that while they felt buoyed by a recent statement by the city’s public advocate calling for JDS to use union pay scales in order to compensate workers for the project, they were still angry that it was not binding, and that such a high profile project was able to proceed without using organized labor.
The 421-a program will be up for review in Albany in June. At that time, the state legislature has to choose if it will renew the program as it is, revise it, or scrap it altogether.