Sunday, October 25, 2009

As a Bronx CBA awaits, challenges to labor solidarity

The idea of a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA), at least as pioneered in Los Angeles, is a united front presented by all parties, including labor unions. In the Bronx, as Crain's reports, unity doesn't come easy:
Organized labor's previously united front on $10-an-hour retail jobs at the Kingsbridge Armory splintered Friday, with the umbrella organization representing 100,000 unionized construction workers publicly declaring support for a redevelopment project by Related Cos. that would deliver 1,000 construction jobs to it[s] members.
No CBA has yet been signed regarding the Kingsbridge Armory.

Contrasts with AY

Regarding Atlantic Yards, Forest City Ratner has promised unionized building service jobs in the residential towers, thus leading to support of Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which is not a signatory of the AY CBA. Nor are the construction unions.

There are no guarantees about minimum retail wages in the AY CBA, so that hasn't been an issue--perhaps because Atlantic Yards, in contrast to the Kingsbridge Armory, is not primarily a retail project.

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