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Vast construction project sparks accusations against labor union

| Mar 17, 2018 | Union Representation |

In New York City, where there are constantly major construction projects taking place, it is natural that there will be disagreements between companies and the unions representing workers who are handling the project. Cost is a constant worry for these projects and companies, concerned about the bottom line, will take steps and make allegations asserting that a labor union or more than one labor union are trying to take advantage by inflating costs. It is these types of disagreements that make it even more imperative that unions are protected by a law firm that is experienced in union representation.

A labor organization is facing a lawsuit because of allegations that some unions inflated hours its workers worked. There are other accusations of corruption against the unions. The project – Hudson Yards on the West Side of Manhattan – is worth $25 billion. The claim says that the unions overcharged by more than $100 million. The company is building what is referred to as the largest real estate project in the history of the U.S. It filed its case against the organization saying that it included corrupt unions in the contract negotiations.

For its part, the union says that this is an example of a company trying to push non-union construction. The project has employed more than 20,000 workers since 2012. It is the biggest employer of construction workers in New York. The complaint points to an agreement for phase one of the project. It says the union did not adhere to its part of the agreement because if did not have a safe working environment with 150 workers dismissed or told to leave for violations. 250 were said to have failed alcohol and drug tests since last year. Some senior workers were given light jobs such as getting coffee while being paid for their higher-end status.

Companies that are uninterested or reluctant to pay union workers what their contracts say they should get will often try to find ways to demonize unions and its workers by making allegations of wrongdoing. Regardless of the reality of the situation, unions must make certain they protect themselves and their members against these legal filings that could endanger the requirement that companies use union labor. A law firm that is experienced in protecting the rights of unions and defending against such cases is essential.

Source: Bloomberg.com, “NYC’s Hudson Yards Mega-Project Sues to Shun ‘Corrupt’ Unions,” Erik Larson, David M. Levitt, March 6, 2018