Skip to main content

Daily News: union workers pushing Barclays Center to set up stable schedules so they can get insurance

A scoop for Albor Ruiz in the New York Daily News, Ruiz: Barclays Center workers campaign for company to fulfill steady employment, health insurance promises, points out--as I have long noted--that saying jobs go to local residents don't mean they are good jobs:
Yet three years later, although many of the jobs at Barclays have gone to local residents, they are not the kind that can support these families as originally promised. Not surprisingly, the workers are starting a campaign this week to get Barclays to fulfill its promises.
The affected workers are those whose jobs are related to center events. These include ushers, ticket takers and guards and those who set up the floors for events.
According to the union, Barclays has made a blatant end run around the intention of the contract signed in 2012. Barclays denies it.
Note that I don't think they promised all or most of the jobs could "support" families. They just claimed they were good jobs, fudging the issue.

However, for floor conversion workers, as Ruiz writes, there seemed to be promises of growth, including health insurance and stable pay. (I don't think many of the other workers expect/get insurance.)

And they did not--until recently, as I wrote last July--reveal the wage. As noted in the screenshot at right, ushers, ticket takers, security officers, facilities crew members, and janitors or /housekeepers are paid at least $12/hour, or more with specialized skills and experience.

The possibility for growth

Ruiz writes:
The contract promised to set up stable events crews and work schedules that would give workers the ability to increase their pay rates and get health insurance. But over the past couple of years, none of the event crew workers has been assigned to a steady crew, nor have they been given the opportunity to meet eligibility requirements.
Last year, only four employees qualified for health insurance, according to Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, which represents more than 600 of the workers. From January to October this year, only one worker is currently eligible.
In fact, according to Barclays, only 51 of the 32BJ employees are currently receiving employer-paid benefits. With the Islanders coming to Brooklyn, the company said, the number of events to be worked by union members will be significantly increased. 
“I tell people I make $21.56 and they think it’s great. It would be good if we worked enough events, which is what we are asking Barclays for,” said Brooklyn resident Terrell Davis, 49, a loading dock worker.
Keep in mind that it's in the arena's interest to have more workers, since it 1) lets them say more people are employed and 2) allows them to keep hours low enough that workers don't qualify for benefits.

Barclays spokesman Barry Baum made a vague statement about working with the union, and a  SEIU 32BJ said they want to hold Barclays to their promise to benefit the community.

It would be interesting to see exactly what the contract said.

Keep in mind that, in 2013, the arena conversion workers, frustrated with their contract, tried to leave SEIU 32BJ for the New York City District Council of Carpenters, which represents the similarly situated workers at Madison Square Garden.

The union decertification vote failed; though those voting overwhelmingly wanted to switch, they couldn't get a majority to vote, which meant--depending on whom you asked--people stayed home or there really weren't as many workers as claimed.


Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming (post-dated pinned post)

Click on graphic to enlarge. This is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change, and the project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…