32BJ TO CALL FOR CITY INVESTIGATION OF WIDESPREAD ABUSES BY LUXURY HOUSING DEVELOPERS OF TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM

32BJ TO CALL FOR CITY INVESTIGATION OF WIDESPREAD ABUSES BY LUXURY HOUSING DEVELOPERS OF TAX EXEMPTION PROGRAM

DEVELOPERS DO NOT PAY WORKERS THE LIVABLE WAGES MANDATED IN LAW; WORKERS TO PROTEST AT PARK SLOPE LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDING

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 16, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The management company of a Park Slope luxury apartment building fired its building’s service workers when they began organizing around the issues of unfair wages and a lack of benefits. The workers and their supporters will hold a demonstration on Wednesday to insist on getting their jobs back and being repaid wages that they feel the company unfairly denied them.

92 luxury buildings in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan currently participate in the 421-a tax exemption program that grants the buildings significant tax exemption in exchange for affordable housing and prevailing wages and benefits for the buildings’ service workers. Based on the number of units in these 92 sites, a conservative estimate is that about 600 workers are affected by the 421-a program, with an additional 250 workers in 30 buildings that are planned or under construction.

A 32BJ SEI investigation has found buildings in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan in clear violation of the rule in the 421-a program that employers provide the prevailing wage and paid benefits. A further survey of more buildings receiving the tax exemptions, which cost New York City more than $1 billion in annual tax revenues, showed the violations to be widespread and systemic.

WHO: Fidel Vazquez and Jose Casillas, concierges fired from the building for trying to

organize co-workers, Council members Brad Lander and Stephen Levin, and New York City

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

WHAT: Over a hundred workers and supporters and elected officials demanding that the

management of a Park Slope luxury apartment building rehire workers they fired in retaliation for trying to organize their workplace.

WHEN: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WHERE: Arias Park Slope at 150 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

VISUALS: Over a hundred workers and supporters

With more than 125,000 members, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service union in the country.

Contact:
Michael O. Allen 212-388-3805;
646-436-7556

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