Local 46, NY Laborers Ally With Community Calling For ‘Two Bridges’ ULURP
Building Trades, Features, Law and Politics, New York

Local 46, NY Laborers Ally With Community Calling For ‘Two Bridges’ ULURP

October 19, 2018

By Joe Maniscalco

New York, NY – Local 46 of the Metallic Lathers and Ironworkers and the NYS Laborers have joined with LES residents in demanding City Planning pump the breaks on a massive new plan to erect four residential towers on the waterfront between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges. 

A truck critical of the Two Bridges LSRD calls out developers.

Existing members of the community don’t think much of the Two Bridges Large Scale Residential Development team’s promise to make 25-percent of the 3,000 proposed new apartments “affordable.” Neither do they much care for the the ensuing human displacement the building project will spark, the burden it will place on the present infrastructure, or the shadowy darkness the hi-rise buildings will plunge area playgrounds. 

To remedy the situation, residents are supporting a zoning text amendment both Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Member Margaret Chin [D-District 1] and at least some other elected officials are advocating that would subject the whole building plan to the more transparent Uniform Land Use Review Procedure [ULURP]. 

Local 46 wants the proposed project subjected to ULURP as well because of the development team’s…ahem…”troubling” track record of hiring contractors with a history of wage theft, worker deaths, illegal dumping and other safety violations. 

“Given the troubling history of developers CIM group and JDS of hiring contractors who break the law, exploit their workforce, and put workers and the public’s safety at risk, and given the massive scale of this proposed project, there should be a full and transparent process for the community and labor to have their concerns addressed,” Local 46 Business Manager Terry Moore said in a statement. 

There should be a full and transparent process for the community and labor to have their concerns addressed. — Local 46 Business Manager Terry Moore

Grassroots community groups protested the proposed development project outside the City Planning’s Broadway offices during a hearing held Wednesday morning  — branding Mayor Bill de Blasio and other “so-called Progressives” believed to be backing the LSRD plan as “sellouts”. 

CIM Group is also busy erecting a 1.2 million square foot luxury residential building at 85 Jay Street in Brooklyn. But ECD NY, the sketchy outfit CIM has tapped to work on the foundation, also happens to be embroiled in an ugly gender discrimination lawsuit involving a female employee who contends she was terminated after alleging pay inequities on the job. 

The Department of Labor found the same contractor guilty of wage theft in 2015, and the NYS Attorney General is presently suing ECD NY for allegedly dumping — you guessed it — toxic waste in a public park. 

Community groups jeered the Two Bridges LSRD outside City Planning offices.

“JDS also has a documented history of hiring irresponsible contractors who break the law, exploit workers and undermine public safety,” Local 46 Melissa Shetler said in testimony prepared for the City Planning Board. “For example, JDS has hired Parkside Construction, who was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney in May 2018 for stealing $1.7 million in wages from its workers, and engaging in workers compensation insurance fraud totaling $7.8 million. JDS also hired SSC High Rise, who pled guilty in July 2018 to manslaughter in the death of one of its employees, Juan Chonillo, as well as stealing more than $500,000 in wages from its workers and underreporting nearly $2 million in payroll.”

Local 46 Manhattan Business Agent Michael Anderson, pointed out still other outrageous examples of CIM’s “irresponsible” building. 

“One contractor employed at JDS Development Group’s super tall tower at 111 57th St, Parkside, was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney in May 2018 with stealing $1.7 million in wages from its workers and running a workers compensation insurance fraud scheme totalling $7.8 million,” Anderson said in a statement.

The alliance of Local 46 and Laborers with LES residents clamoring for ULURP puts them at odds with members of 32BJ SEIU, who spoke in support of fast-tracking CIM’s building plans, citing the approximately 50 building services jobs the development is expected to bring. 

City Planning has yet to determine if requests for a text amendment requiring the plan be subjected to ULURP will ultimately be approved. 

October 19, 2018

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