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November 20, 2011

Workers: "Atlantic Yards Scammed Us"

Bay Ridge Journal

According to a South Brooklyn Legal Services press release, a group of Brooklyn workers who joined a job training program as part of the Atlantic Yards development deal have filed a federal lawsuit against Atlantic Yards Development Company LLC, Brooklyn Arena LLC, Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (‘BUILD’), Forest City Ratner Companies LLC (‘FCRC’), Bruce Ratner and others.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants fraudulently induced the plaintiffs into taking part in a fake employment training program.

When developer Bruce Ratner announced Atlantic Yards in December, 2003, neighborhood residents immediately objected that by demolishing residential buildings, the project would evict tenants and drive out homeowners and small businesses.

In a move calculated to subvert protest and conquer local politicians, Atlantic Yards developers entered into a so-called ‘Community Benefits Agreement’ (‘CBA’), promising jobs and other benefits, with a bunch of cardboard "community organizations", including BUILD, created solely for purposes of negotiating the CBA.

Among other things, the CBA promised that Atlantic Yards would create a Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program’ (‘PATP’), in partnership with BUILD, to train community residents for construction jobs at Atlantic Yards.

Plaintiffs joined the PATP in the fall of 2010 -- several even quit their jobs to do so. They were repeatedly assured by the developers that, by completing the program, they would earn membership in construction unions employed at Atlantic Yards.

Those jobs never materialized.

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Posted by steve at November 20, 2011 9:41 PM