Labor agreement reached between developer and union association

The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York (BCTC) reached an agreement with Related Cos., a major city developer. The agreement could lead to improved labor relations at work sites managed by the development company. Over the years, the BCTC and local labor unions have challenged Related's alleged union-busting practices and violations of the National Labor Relations Act. There has been a significant amount of litigation between the parties in the past as well as an ongoing media and public campaign that has included protests at construction sites.

The conflict between the BCTC and Related flared up again during work on the $25-billion Hudson Yards Manhattan development. The developer claimed that union corruption had cheated it of $100 million during an earlier phase of the project. It sued the BCTC, claiming that the union association was attempting to include problematic companies in the ongoing project. Related filed another suit, claiming that the union council was delaying progress at the development, including through members refusing to deliver concrete to the site.

However, BCTC also filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging union-busting practices. It sued one of the company's subcontractors, saying that the company was essentially a shell created to avoid collective bargaining agreements with the building trades. The agreement brings an end to the ongoing litigation between the parties. While details were sparse, representatives said that Related and BCTC had agreed to work together to improve workplace safety, training and professional culture, support diversity and enhance collaboration on the job.

Unions play a critical role in defending workers' rights. Despite the protections of labor law, many companies work hard to prevent workers from forming a union or seeking collective representation. A union representation law firm might be able to work with labor organizations and workers to help protect their rights under the law.

Source: Construction Dive, "Related, NYC union coalition strike deal", Kim Slowey, 03/08/2019

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