Statement by Real Estate Board of New York President John H. Banks Refuting Local 79's False Allegations Against Related Companies

“Today’s actions by Local 79, a member of the Building and Construction Trades Council, simply provided more preposterous rhetoric.  Such behavior further undermines the credibility of those involved and calls into question the factual substance of their positions.” John H. Banks, REBNY President.

BACKGROUND

Allegation -- Local 79’s website alleges that Related condones racism, sexism and union busting.

Facts

  • Steve Ross founded RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which is an unprecedented alliance of professional sports leagues, organizations, athletes, educators, media networks and sports professionals using sports to bring people together to promote understanding, respect and equality. Through public awareness campaigns and educational programming, RISE aims to improve race relations.
  • Related is among the largest, if not the largest, employer of construction and building service union labor in New York City. 
  • The on-going development of Hudson Yards by Related is the largest private sector union construction worksite in New York City, if not in the country.  On any given day there can be close to 4,000 unionized construction workers at Hudson Yards.
  • Some building trade unions are picketing two buildings currently under construction at Hudson Yards.  These trade unions are complaining that not all the construction workers are unionized.  For instance, at one of the buildings, 92% of the workers are unionized and at the other, which is just beginning construction, union carpenters are hard at work. Ross and Related have also been among the most progressive employers in the industry, insisting on good paying wages and benefits.
  • The NLRB recently rules that another BCTC union, Steamfitters Local 638, violated the law and its own CBA by carrying out an illegal “sympathy” solidarity strike at a site where its members were actually working.
  • The BCTC actually complained recently that Related reached a labor agreement with another BCTC member, the NYC District Council of Carpenters, citing it as a means of union-busting.