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November 15, 2011

Brutally weird: Times covers lawsuit against BUILD/FCR amid longer article about promotional event for the Nets

Atlantic Yards Report

So, former supporters and construction trainees of Atlantic Yards Community Development Agreement signatory BUILD (Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development) held a press conference today to say, basically, we were robbed (because promised union memberships and project jobs didn't pan out, leading to a lawsuit), and how does the New York Times cover it?

In the 11th paragraph of a 19-paragraph CityRoom post headlined Nets Hold a Rally Amid a Lockout and an Uncertain Season.
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My comment (not yet posted):

The framing of the lawsuit--as a subordinate item amid coverage of a far less meaningful promotional event involving the Nets--disserves readers. It deserves its own article, and the juxtaposition is awkward.

Though Caldwell said trainees had signed a waiver of payment, at the press conference--not attended by the Times--a lawyer for the plaintiffs said that such a waiver was unenforceable, and that the workers had to be paid.

As for DePlasco's numbers--that "19 of the trainees found jobs in property management, retail or construction related positions"--the issue is: how many got the union jobs that the plaintiffs said were explicitly promised? (Some are working at McDonald's and Planet Fitness. Only one is working at Atlantic Yards.)

One of the reasons we didn't learn these statistics earlier relates to another issue raised in the lawsuit: Forest City Ratner's failure to hire the Independent Compliance Monitor required by the Community Benefits Agreement.

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Posted by eric at November 15, 2011 11:14 PM