New Yorkers Eager To Learn More About #CountMeIn As Largest-Ever Demonstration Nears
Building Trades, Features, Law and Politics, New York

New Yorkers Eager To Learn More About #CountMeIn As Largest-Ever Demonstration Nears

October 9, 2018

By Joe Maniscalco

New York, NY – Passersby in front of Related Cos. CEO Stephen Ross’ Columbus Circle offices, on Tuesday, gobbled up flyers calling for the giant real estate outfit to be reformed.

A passerby eagerly takes a #CountMeIn flyer outside Related offices at 10 Columbus Circle.

The leafleting outside 10 Columbus Circle this week, was part of the Building Trades’ ongoing #CountMeIn campaign against so-called “open shop” development at Hudson Yards and the rest of the city. 

So many pedestrians wanting to know more about the “rich vs. poor” protest outside the Time-Warner building snatched up flyers, that #CountMeIn organizers had to repeatedly replenish their stock. 

“Subcontractors on Related Companies projects create a fiduciary risk to investors,” the flyers declared. “Many contractors that work on projects developed, managed and financed by Related Companies have histories of endangering workers. In addition to the unethical decision to potentially expose workers to these conditions, these practices open Related Companies and its business partners to the risk of lawsuits, work stoppages and regulatory enforcement actions which all endanger the timely completion of construction work.”

The flyers go on to direct readers to – a website that ties the company and its subcontractors to a sketchy history of wage theft, worker fatalities, fraud, sexual harassment and the aforementioned “fiduciary risks to investors.”

I can’t tell you how close we are to winning…but we’re close. —  Bernard Callegari, #CountMeIn organizer. 

New York City’s Building Trades have been in a pitched battle with Related Cos since last fall, when the real estate giant decided it didn’t like the Project Labor Agreement covering Phase I of the massive Hudson Yards development on Manhattan’s West Side — and, instead, announced it would enter Phase II without a PLA, using nonunion labor on the cheap. 

On Tuesday, protesters gathered outside 10 Columbus Circle blared horns, chanted “Step Down Steve,” and called for a new PLA for Phase II of the Hudson Yards development. 

Step right up: Curious passersby kept #CountMeIn organizers busy handing out flyers this week.

“I can’t tell you how close we are to winning,” #CountMeIn organizer Bernard Callegari told his fellow trade unionists. “But we’re close. And the only way that we are going to win, is if we are willing to fight one day longer than [Stephen Ross] is.”

The #CountMeIn campaign reportedly has the support of a national Building Trades defense fund totaling $10 million. 

Protesters will be back in Related’s face once again later this week, when they rally outside The University Club of New York — NYC’s “Premiere Social Club” — located at One West 54th Street, site of a Related Cos shindig slated for 5 p.m. on Thursday, October 11. Those interested in taking part are encouraged to text “CMI” to 577-577 for all the latest details.  

And on Tuesday, October 23, the #CountMeIn campaign is set to march from 6th Avenue and 50th Street to 10 Columbus Circle in what is expected to be the largest demonstration the Building Trades have organized against Stephen Ross and Related Cos. to date. 

October 9, 2018

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