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August 11, 2009

(Indicted and non-indicted) Carpenters Union leaders: We work with people who work with us

Atlantic Yards Report

The Feds rounded up a bunch of NYC Carpenter's Union officials last week.

Someone asked me if any of the indicted officials associated with the District Council of Carpenters have led advocacy for Atlantic Yards, and the answer is no.

(Here's the FBI press release, stating that the officials took about $1 million from contractors to defraud the union by paying union members cash, without benefits; by employing non-union workers; and avoiding payment to union benefit funds. "[T]oday's Indictment shows continuing corruption at the highest ranks of the union's leadership even after years of dedicated efforts under the federal Consent Decree to rid the union of wrongdoing," said Lev L. Dassin, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York.)

However, there's a curious consistency of outlook. Consider that Executive Secretary-Treasurer Michael Forde, indicted for racketeering and bribery (on top of a $274,000 a year salary), has a basic philosophy, according to the Daily News: "We are going to work with the people who will work with us." (That includes Republicans and Democrats.)

The same holds true with Atlantic Yards. Forest City Ratner plays such hardball with unions that it actually stopped construction of the Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan midway to extract concessions. But the unions want to build Atlantic Yards.

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Posted by eric at August 11, 2009 9:27 AM