The Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York,
an organization Consisting of local affiliates of 15 national and international unions representing 100,000 working men and women in the New York City.
All BCTC media inquiries should be directed to Robert Barletta or Jordan Isenstadt at Marino:
Robert Barletta, Executive Vice President
Telephone: 212) 889-4116 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan Isenstadt, Vice President
Telephone: (212) 889-3510 Email: email@example.com
Statement in response to the lawsuit against the Building & Construction Trades Council by Hudson Yards Construction LLC, an affiliate of The Related Companies
“This lawsuit is an attempt to shift the blame for a poorly run project to others, and more specifically to Gary LaBarbera. The lawsuit is full of assertions with no foundation or basis. The complaint is written as if it was meant for the media and not for a courtroom. Related’s affiliated company, Hudson Yards Construction, LLC (“HYC”), is using this lawsuit to disparage Gary LaBarbera, the Council, the Unions affiliated with the Council, and most important of all, the hard working men and women in the unionized construction industry that are building its project.
Essentially this lawsuit alleges that Mr. LaBarbera had the obligation to be Related’s police dog on its project. The complaint is an attempt to make Mr. LaBarbera and the Council responsible for the entire NYC Construction Industry. Without the barest of foundations, the complaint alleges Mr. LaBarbera is responsible for every act, every union, every trades person, and every alleged disappointment Related and its affiliate claims.
In fact, Mr. LaBarbera does not work for Related. Related has a Construction Manager, its affiliated company, HYC. Related and its Construction Manager are responsible for supervising their project. This complaint asks us to believe that for six years, HYC did nothing to curtail practices they believed to be corrupt and these allegations piled up until this complaint was filed. Related or HYC have not filed any grievances under the PLA over the past six years even remotely suggestive of overpaid “coffee boys”, “no-show” jobs, or “unsafe workers”. If the bizarre allegations are to be believed at all, this also means that Related and HYC sat idly by while contractors were allegedly overbilling them. Yet, there is no complaint against those contractors. Instead, Related and its affiliate, lays that responsibility squarely at Mr. LaBarbera’s feet. To claim that Mr. LaBarbera is responsible for any of its allegations is so absurd that it is simply not to be believed.
The only use that Related or its affiliate has ever made of the grievance procedure in the parties’ agreement was an attempt to (1) suppress both wages and free speech and expressive activity. HYC grieved the presence of #CountMeIn material on the job; but not alleged “no-show jobs”; and (2) to force concessions from a local union on residential work by application of the “most favored nations clause”; but never grieved the alleged “overpayment” of wages. Related sought those concessions on residential work despite having sold one penthouse for $32 million dollars.
Related and its affiliate have threatened workers with termination for expressive activity. Related and its affiliate have threatened unions with being banned from their projects if they did not give them special terms and conditions. Related and its affiliate have essentially banned unions that have pushed back against their or their contractor’s abuse of employees.
Related’s lawsuit is retaliation for the #CountMeIn movement in this City that protests open-shop and non-union projects. Related and its affiliate mistake SOLIDARITY among workers and unions as coercion by Gary LaBarbera. Related and its affiliate have missed the mark and any judge or jury looking at this matter will see this complaint for what it is, an desperate attempt to suppress a movement protesting Related’s, and other developers’, open shop business model.”