You don’t have to look hard in the city to see that development is booming. That is especially true for multi-million dollar luxury high rises in Manhattan. But more and more, skilled trades are being squeezed out by unqualified non-union workers.
The battle has heated up in courts and even subway ads as developers continue to squeeze working people and their families for an extra buck. But the building trades are fighting back hard. A rally against Related Companies was just the most public part of the fight.
As reported in the Times, the rally off Times Square was a show of force for union trades who have had enough. Big developers have been chipping away at the representation of qualified trade workers at many of their construction sites for years.
The weekly pickets at 50 Hudson Yards have not been garnering the attention of the people of the city, so the large protest was needed. It’s just one part of a coordinated effort to support building trades in New York.
The District Council of Carpenters has led the way on this fight. A recent study by them found that building trades now account for only 65% of the labor force on Manhattan projects, and as little as 40% of projects in the outer boroughs.
Their effort to put a stop to this is coordinated through the campaign “Build Up NYC.” The intention is to make the general public more aware of how developers are squeezing good jobs for a few dollars more in profit, even in the construction boom.
The site is focused not just on the value of qualified trades and support for workers, but on the many safety violations that developers are racking up as they move away from skilled professionals. It’s something the public needs to know much more about.
Fighting for trades
More than ever, the fight for building trades jobs has been engaged. It’s up to the people of New York to join the trades to fight for quality construction by skilled professionals.
This is not a one-time rally or protest event. Building trades are under sustained fire, and developers are not backing down easily. As the battle continues in the streets and in court you can be sure that the fight will be joined by everyone who understands the importance of building trades for a better New York.