Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Were you invited? Randi Turns 50 today...

...with a cast of a thousand plus maybe a few more.

A present for Randi from the construction workers.
Click on it to enlarge.

The NY Sun's Elizabeth Greene is reporting (here) that
"A clash between two city unions could erupt today as construction laborers threaten to send thousands of protesters to a 50th birthday celebration for the president of the city teachers union, Randi Weingarten.
"Organizers for the construction laborers said their union, the New York City District Council of Carpenters, is furious over an affordable housing complex for teachers that is being built by non-union laborers.
"Representatives of both unions are meeting now in an effort to avert a protest, Ms. Spicer said. But until an agreement is reached, organizers said, thousands of construction laborers are set to converge onto the site of Ms. Weingarten's birthday party, the headquarters of the United Federation of Teachers.
"Ms. Weingarten said the city comptroller and city housing officials had given a solid promise to trustees of the teacher pension fund that the project would be built by union laborers. She said she realized last week she had been the victim of a 'material misrepresentation.
"After failing to convince the city to renegotiate its contract with the developer, Ms. Weingarten said she had no option but to ask the pension fund to sell the bonds that are paying for the construction. The arrangement would not kill the project, but would take teacher pension money away from it.
"Ms. Spicer criticized Ms. Weingarten for failing to recognize that non-union laborers were building the complex."
Let's see now. The city comptroller is Bill Thompson has been the UFT's unofficial mayoral candidate - think he was a bad boy and tried to fool the UFT or is it possible Randi and Bill were trying to sneak one by? Anthony Weiner could lay down in front of a non-union construction truck being driven by Thompson and the UFT will find a way to support Thompson.

Greene's article also posted at Norms Notes.

Click here for the Flier by Construction Workers Criticizing the UFT (jpeg)

Ira comments on ICE-mail:

It is interesting that on the UFT website she does not make this claim [that union labor had to be used] and in fact seems to be somewhat backing away from it if you read the wording carefully about the 3 pillars--Here's what she says:

From our perspective
, development of this project rests on three pillars:
  • The creation of housing that would be affordable to educators.
  • From the financing standpoint, the investment has to be fiduciary sound.
  • Construction labor costs had to be based on prevailing wage.

The way the project was shaped, the Teachers’ Retirement System would purchase $28.2 million 2007 Series D bonds issued by the New York City Housing Development Corporation bearing a market rate of interest to finance the construction and permanent mortgage loans for two residential buildings in the Melrose section of the Bronx that will contain 234 residential units.

Although we have been enthusiastic cheerleaders for the project, neither the UFT nor the TRS is party to its construction.

On Wednesday, November 28, I learned that one of these pillars was violated: the agreement between HDC and the developer does not guarantee prevailing wage.

Note that nowhere does it state that there was an agreement about using union labor!


  1. Let the UFT support Thompson. The UFT endorsement for mayor has been tantamount to the kiss of death lately.

  2. I'm actually more curious about this B-day party. Who's paying for it? Us? Just because your the boss I don't think it's right for you and/or your employees to throw an elaborate bash on our dime.


  3. What an appropriate 50th birthday gift for Randi from the Carpenters' Union!

    Perhaps we should begin discussions to have the NYCDCC take over the Teachers' Union.

  4. You mean that this party is not coming out of the dues paid to the Unity Caucus?

    The concerns over the expenses for Randi's BDay party coming out of general membership dues are a legitimate concern.

  5. Doesn't prevailing wage mean union work?


Comments are welcome. Irrelevant and abusive comments will be deleted, as will all commercial links. Comment moderation is on, so if your comment does not appear it is because I have not been at my computer (I do not do cell phone moderating). Or because your comment is irrelevant or idiotic.