WORKERS TO PROTEST LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDINGS TAKING TAX BREAKS BUT REFUSING TO PAY REQUIRED PREVAILING WAGE IN EXEMPTION PROGRAM

WORKERS TO PROTEST LUXURY APARTMENT BUILDINGS TAKING TAX BREAKS BUT REFUSING TO PAY REQUIRED PREVAILING WAGE IN EXEMPTION PROGRAM

PROTESTS IN BROOKLYN, MANHATTAN AND QUEENS DEVELOPMENTS

NEW YORK, NY – June 20, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) – A 32BJ SEIU survey has found employers at city luxury buildings participating in the 421-a program that grants them significant tax exemption in exchange for creating affordable housing and paying service workers prevailing wages and benefits routinely stiff workers on the mandated wages and benefits.

Close to 90 buildings in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan currently participate in the program. Based on the number of units in these sites, a conservative estimate is that about 600 workers are affected by the 421-a program, which costs New York City more than $1 billion in annual tax revenues, with an additional 250 workers in 30 buildings that are planned or under construction.

The survey showed widespread and systemic violations, with at least 25 buildings across the city in clear violation. Workers say they will no longer stand by while employers get away with paying some of them close to minimum wage without benefits. Starting Thursday, they will hold simultaneous demonstrations at buildings violating provisions of the law across the city.

WHO:  Fidel Vazquez and Jose Casillas, concierges at Arias Park Slope at 150 4th Ave., Brooklyn; Ricardo Lebron, concierge at L Haus, 11-02 49th    Avenue, Long Island City, NY; New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio; 32BJ SEIU Secretary-Treasurer Kyle Bragg

WHAT:  Hundreds of workers and supporters and elected officials protest at buildings across the city to demand employers at luxury apartment buildings pay wages and benefits mandated in city law written to provide affordable housing and living wages in luxury housing developments.

WHEN & WHERE:       Thursday, June 20th, 2013

·         4:30 p.m. at Griffin Court Condominium at 454 W. 54th Street, New York, NY

·         5:30 p.m. at Arias Park Slope at 150 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

·         5:30 p.m. at L Haus, 11-02 49th Avenue, Long Island City, New York, NY

VISUALS:                    Dozens of workers and supporters at the sites with banners.

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

Contact:
Meredith Kolodner
212.388.3424; 917.881.3896

Michael O. Allen
646-436-7556

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