Blog

Developer and construction union members’ dispute sparks protest

| Aug 24, 2018 | Employee Benefits |

There are certain industries that are part of the New York City landscape in more ways than one. When thinking about the famous skyline, the bridges and other notable structures, it is unavoidable to think about those who built them – the construction workers. History has been littered with issues between the unionized members of the construction industry and developers and it is imperative that these workers remember the importance of having legal assistance with labor relations to protect its union members.

Construction workers banded together to protest a continuing dispute between labor and developers due to issues with a construction project. The dispute stems from the company that is overseeing the Hudson Yards project – worth approximately $20 billion – and the construction industry. The workers protested outside the headquarters of the National Football League as the chairman of the company developing Hudson Yards, Stephen Ross, owns the Miami Dolphins.

The workers assert that Mr. Ross is trying to break the union. Some tactics he is alleged to have used include accusing a worker of selling coffee to other workers rather than do his job which pays him nearly $44 per hour. That worker spoke at the rally. The head of the union’s umbrella group encouraged the workers to lodge their protest. The company had filed a lawsuit for $100 million in what was allegedly an attempt to negatively impact the union’s attempt to staff the project with its members. The company is trying to give some parts of the project to non-union workers to save money.

This situation is indicative of the difficult nature of ensuring unions are treated fairly by large-scale employers. There are consistent attempts on the part of some employers to reduce the benefits union members receive or to outright break the union with underhanded tactics. It is in these circumstances that union members must remember their rights and have legal assistance that looks at matters from their perspective. A law firm experienced with union members and their concerns should be called to represent the union from the beginning to provide protection and advice.