NEW YORK, Oct. 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, hundreds of union members flooded the plaza and steps of City Hall chanting, "Count Me In" as the New York City Council introduced a resolution in support of the Count Me In campaign and its worker activists. Introduced by Council Member Costa Constantinides, the resolution illustrates the City Council's support for unionized construction and critiques Related Companies' union-busting actions at Hudson Yards.
"I grew up in a union household and I am proud to stand with the working people of New York City in support of the Count Me In movement," said New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. "We are not just talking about workers' rights here – we're talking about worker safety. This is a difficult time across the country for unions and New York City needs to lead the way in making it clear to the labor movement that we've got your back. Today the Council is saying let's get the job done right, let's get the job done safely. Let's support Count Me In."
The resolution comes on the heels of the almost year-long rank and file movement comprised of New York City unionized construction workers that has galvanized both workers and the industry alike and is committed to fighting back against corporate greed and the open shop model.
"The Related Companies' attempted union-busting efforts are counter to what New York City is — built on the back of organized labor," said Council Member Costa Constantinides, District 22. "Trying to construct one of New York's most defining projects with non-union labor is a serious threat to the future of our middle class. I am proud to support our building trades against cost-cutting developers, so you can Count Me In."
"On behalf of the membership of the Building Trades, we want to thank City Council Speaker Johnson and Council Member Constantinides, for their support of this resolution and the #CountMeIn movement," said Gary LaBarbera, president of the 100,000-member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. "This will send a statement to the business community in New York City that our city's leadership supports quality middle class jobs, as well as stands in solidarity with the labor movement."
"Open shop is the right-to-work equivalent for private construction unions and we will not allow Hudson Yards to be built this way," said Mike Hellstrom, assistant business manager of the 17,000-member Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York, and director of the Count Me In campaign. "Having the City Council, under the leadership of Speaker Johnson and Council Member Constantinides, rise in such strong support of Count Me In and construction workers at Hudson Yards, illustrates the ability we as everyday people have to fight back against the forces of corporate greed and bully developers that seek to tear us apart and destroy our hard-fought and well-earned way of life," concluded Hellstrom.
"While workers are under attack nationwide through decisions like Janus, and right-to-work spreads, New York City construction workers have risen up with Count Me In to say enough is enough," said Terry Moore, business manager of Metallic Lathers Local 46. "We will not allow development at Hudson Yards to happen open shop. The New York City Council's resolution in support of Count Me In demonstrates what we as workers and unions can do when we come together to fight corporate greed and the open-shop model."
"Thank you Council Member Constantinides and the New York City Council for standing with New York City unionized construction workers in our fight against open shop at Hudson Yards," said Joseph Azzopardi, Business Manager & Secretary Treasurer of the New York State District Council 9 IUPAT, Painters and Allied Trades. "As more and more low-road contractors exploit non-union workers, this resolution shows the Council's support for better wages, stronger benefits, and safer working conditions at Hudson Yards and beyond. When the forces of irresponsible development try to tear us down, we know that we can count you in."
"This resolution shows the Council is willing to stand up for the hard-working men and women who build New York City," said William Hill, President, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local 7 (Tile, Marble & Terrazzo) NY-NJ. "Workers at Hudson Yards and across this city have built the Count Me In movement on the belief that open shop is this city's equivalent to right-to-work. The Council, under the leadership of Speaker Johnson, rejects Related's practices at Hudson Yards and stands with Count Me In to show what the working class people of New York can do when they stick together."
"We are here today to say that New York City has been a union town, is a union town, and will remain a union town," said Jeremiah Sullivan, President, Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, Local Union #1, NY. "The Count Me In resolution shows that the New York City Council is standing with us in our fight against open shop practices at Hudson Yards. Open shop leaves hard working New Yorkers without the good, safe labor standards that we as a city have fought so hard to gain. Thank you, Council Member Constantinides for standing up for what is right."
SOURCE Mason Tenders District Council