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Labor protest at arena: "Shame on Barclays Center and Forest City Ratner"

The labor dispute at the Barclays Center that surfaced last week--in which part-time "conversion workers" unsuccessfully tried to decertify one union and join another--has now landed in front of the arena.

In the past two days, workers who wish to affiliate with the Carpenters Union have picketed outside the arena entrance on Dean Street and outside the arena plaza.

They say that the part-time schedules and wage rates are too low, far less than the compensation for the (relatively few) full-time workers at Madison Square Garden, though reportedly--and I couldn't get a Carpenters' spokesman to return my call--the part-time wages are competitive.

Going after FCR

And while the dispute may be framed as between two unions, the disgruntled workers are slamming both developer Forest City Ratner and the Barclays Center.

"Forest City Ratner is Brooklyn's Notorious Tax-Chop Champ!" reads a flyer distributed at the protest.

"Residents of Brooklyn hired at Forest City Ratner new Barclays Center got hammered with ruthlessly Low Wage-Part Time Jobs with NO Health Insurace," the flyer states, warning that the developer's "antiquated employment policies force the rest of New York State taxpayers to subsidize their employees' health care."
As far as I can tell, this refers only to those conversion workers who wish to leave Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, not the more numerous staff working such jobs as concessions and security, who also have part-time jobs.

"As you know FCRC has a long history of working with unions," FCR spokesman Joe DePlasco said in response to my query. "This is a jurisdictional dispute between two unions and not something we would comment on."

Picketers say they'd be out from 8 am to 2:30 pm daily. There is of course some irony here, as the Carpenters Union provided some of the most vocal support for arena construction, including presence at rallies and statements at public hearings.

A photo from yesterday

Photos from Monday, March 4


  1. Stand with the Barclays Carpenters!


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