Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Workers Strike at WTC and Atlantic Yards Site Over Pay Cuts

Cement and concrete workers picket in front of high profile construction sites as part of a citywide strike. For the second time in less than a week, construction workers rally outside the Barclays Center construction site.

Union concrete workers from the Atlantic Yards site picketed at the site entrance at Sixth Avenue and Pacific Street, joining a citywide strike that members of the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council have threatened since the contract covering the workers expired on July 1st.

Since then, cement workers have continued work at both the World Trade Center and Atlantic Yards projects without a contract, pouring concrete floors.

“We’re going to stand out here as long as it takes,” said one union member, who declined to give his name due to fears of retaliation. “They don’t want to let us work for a decent wage.”

The Cement League, a contract association that represents contractors like Commodore Construction, which handles the Atlantic Yards site, has asked union concrete workers for a 25-cents-an-hour decrease over a three-year contract. The Cement League, Commodore and the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council have all declined to speak with the press or issue comments about the strike.

Picketers at both construction sites were demanding a wage increase of $1.50 an hour, on top of the approximately $35 an hour they made under the previous contract. Negotiations are ongoing, but the picketing workers say they plan to continuing striking until a deal is reached.

By Peter Coyne / TheElectricWeb.com
August 2nd, 2011


Hundreds of Concrete Workers Walk Out at World Trade Center Site

Unionized concrete workers operating without a new contract since July 1st, walked off the job at the World Trade Center on Monday, preparing for a possible strike in the coming days.

Officials with the Cement and Concrete Workers District Council representing the concrete workers whose contract expired on July 1st, declined to comment. Officials with the Cement League, a contractors’ association that represents management, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. However, a source familiar with the matter said the two parties are currently negotiating [see the ElectricWeb | Blogger archive: July 9th, July 1st, June 30thJune 28th and June 24, 2011].

Construction of the World Trade Center’s transit hub cannot continue without the concrete workers,  according to a person familiar with the matter. A prolonged work stoppage could soon affect the other 
construction trades still working at the site on Monday, if their work requires concrete to proceed.

Concrete workers also stopped working at Tower 1, but other construction there will be able to continue for about a week or so, according to another person familiar with the matter.

According to a spokesman with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Monday’s work stoppage by the concrete workers union will have "no impact on construction of the 9/11 Memorial, which remains on track to open on the tenth anniversary of the attacks."

By Peter Coyne / TheElectricWeb.com
August 1st, 2011