Union 79, which represents Construction and General Buildings laborers inflated the iconic rat in front of the Lightstone Group's 700-unit mega residential development at 363-365 Bond Street, adjacent to the Gowanus Canal.
The union representatives were handing out fliers stating that Lightstone Group and its chairman David Lichtenstein is allowing contractor Lettire Construction Corporation to exploit its non-union construction workers. The union is urging people to show support for a safe environment, a living wage and for dignity and respect for the workers .
The flier includes a phone number for David Lichtenstein.
I spoke to the union supervisor in charge of this mornings' protest. "You know, Lightstone received a lot of subsidies to build this project. What happened to the money?"
It is important to remember that Community Board 6 made its own "Responsible Contractor
Conditions (which calls for union labor whenever possible) a condition on voting yes to the original rezoning of the Bond Street site from manufacturing to mixed-use.
Community Board 6 repeated that condition when Lightstone Group needed a 'minor modification' to change the number of housing units from 400 to 700 units.
Obviously, Lightstone decided it did not need to follow those recommendations, and Community Board 6 is always too quick to point out that its role is only advisory.
As for the safety of the workers currently employed by Lettire Construction Corporation, I have personally spoken to quite a few who seemed concerned about working on a Brownfield site that just happens to be right next to an EPA Superfund site.
I would like to thank my friend L. for letting me know that the rat had made an appearance at the site.
Reader and friend C. just forwarded me an open Environmental Control Board violation issued to Lettire Construction Corporation on February 5th for a lack of "overhead protection for workers for walkway and sidewalk."
A partial stop-work order was issued. It was rescinded on February 13th.