Not So Magic, Johnson: Carpenters Protest Wages at 20 Henry Street

The Brooklyn Eagle reports that the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America are miffed about how the developers of 20 Henry Street, Magic Johnson’s Canyon Johnson Funds, is compensating its workers. Our man in the NYC Council Steve Levin pointed out the firm’s questionable hiring practices earlier this year.

Brooklyn Eagle: Protesters from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America blew whistles and chanted, “Who’s the rat? Capital [Interiors]!” as they marched across the street from the 20 Henry Street (Candy Factory) condo construction project Thursday.
“The subcontractor Capital Interiors does not pay area standard wages and benefits,” said Michael Donnelly, representative of the NYC District Council of Carpenters. “No health benefits, nothing. The New York State Department of Labor sets the wage scale, but they chose not to abide by it. It’s basically a race to the bottom.”

Clearly the union members are not familiar with the song “Magic Johnson” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers which warns, “Other teams may pray for dreams, but he don’t give a f**k!”

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  • William Spier

    If you think unions are the enemy, to me,that implies either shocking ignorance of U.S. history since the early 20th Century, or, pure right wing ideology. It’s probably too late for education, so I’ll drop it.

    I’ve watched this construction and seen structural work done on the cheap, eg. instead of using rebar, the the construction company is laying aluminum panels to pour floor concrete on. Compare this to the extraordinary quality of the work on the P.S. 8 addition.Every delivery of concrete was tested by the City for standard, every brick perfectly placed and floors reinforced with rebar superstructure. Major City construction companies like Turner were used, and the whole thing was done on schedule by union professionals.

  • EHinBH

    Unions. So funny. Does the construction site have a coal mine we dont know about? All these unions do is strong-arm the City and block private enterprises from reaching any level of success.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Does anyone know the cost of building the PS8 extension? My guess is that it was much more expensive psf than 20 Henry.

  • David Murray

    Go, Brotherhood of Carpenters!

    Construction unions were a major stepping stone into the middle class in the 20th century, and they ensured a measure of quality through apprentice programs. But construction unions have now largely been destroyed in most of the country.

    The recent Wisconsin teachers union struggle got a lot of press, but these teachers (and the media) were silent over the last 20 years or so, as the private sector unions were attacked and destroyed…

  • John C

    What a joke, all these union carpenters rather not work then take a pay cut. Their pay demands are crazy, they do not deserve 100-150k per year to build walls. I know doctors that work in emergency rooms that don’t make that pay. Also, the structure is designed by the structural engineer and the architect, not the “non union” contractor.

  • Eddyenergizer

    John C, Union Carpenters don’t even make $100k a year, not sure where you got those figures from? Even if they did who are you to say they don’t deserve to make x amount of pay? Why because a doctor doing their internship makes less, that makes no sense. On a societal level carpenters are more important than doctors, without carpenters and other trades, we would have no buildings, without doctors more people would die. What’s more important to the human race on the whole, buildings or extra people?

  • Eddyenergizer

    William Spier, The “panel” material is not “Aluminum” it is galvanized steel and is a perfectly acceptable and strong way of constructing a deck (floor). Rebar is not always necessary, it depends on the span between the supporting beams and the load the deck will need to bear. Residential usage is minimal weight so if rebar was not used, it was not needed. As John C pointed out, that is decided by an engineer not the contractor. All plans and construction need to be approved and inspected by the buildings department, regardless of who is doing the work. All structural concrete must be sampled and tested, union poured or not. The standard for school construction is much higher than for residential construction. literally they are designed to withstand air raid attacks, earthquakes, hurricanes and ever increasing childhood obesity.

  • Topham Beauclerk

    I’d like to remind the tea baggers among the commenters – how did they get into our lovely neighborhood? – that the states where unionism is weakest – so-called “right-to-work” states – are also the poorest states with all the ills associated with poverty which includes being the recipients of massive subventions from the richest states where unionism is strongest. Welfare queens?

    Only 7% of private-sector workers belong to a union.