Unions are a key factor in many industries in New York and few have stronger unions than construction workers. Since these workers are generally well-represented, it is not unusual for developers to try and find ways to defray costs from paying union members what their contracts say they should get. Part of that is using non-union workers for certain jobs. This has resulted in lawsuits and protests. For unions that are concerned about these attempts to hinder their job prospects and income, it is important to have a law firm that treats the needs of unions as paramount.
Developers in New York City and trade unions for construction workers are having a contentious relationship as the developers are increasingly using non-union workers. Their argument is that the trade unions are not adhering to agreements that were said to have compromises on such issues as worker pay and work practices. According to a leader in one union, the developers are simply trying to shield themselves from paying union wages.
Recently, a lawsuit was filed asserting that a company lost $100 million because of union behaviors on the Hudson Yards project that is worth $25 billion. According to a survey by the carpenters’ union, unions are only working on 65 percent of Manhattan construction projects. In the outer boroughs, it is less than 40 percent. Non-union workers are receiving as little as $15 per hour in jobs that would make a union worker more than $90 per hour.
It is in situations where disputes are arising between an industry and a union-represented workforce that it is vital to have legal advice to handle these disagreements. Negotiation is always preferable to moving forward with a legal filing. However, litigation can be an important factor in getting unions what they are entitled to with contracts and market realities. Workers must be protected. A law firm that is experienced in helping union members and handling labor relations can be of assistance with any circumstance.
Source: constructiondive.com, “Tensions rise between New York City’s unions and developers,” Kim Slowey, April 19, 2018