Elected officials saluting workers head of this year’s Labor Day Parade called on Mayor de Blasio to put a union stamp on his plan to build or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade.
“As we create 200,000 units of affordable housing, we [also] need to create 200,000 new union jobs,” Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-34th District) told city and state officials.
The retired sanitation worker and member of the NYS Assembly’s Labor Committee called claims that affordable housing might be too costly to build using union labor, saying it was “absolutely unacceptable” and “totally ridiculous”. He stated that if we keep on building new construction using non-union labor, we are going to diminish the stock of skilled workers that we do have.
Despite concerns, the de Blasio administration has forged ahead with an affordable housing plan which lacks any commitment to create the kinds of good jobs that unions guarantee.
Concerns about the lack of good jobs, as well as the number of affordable housing units, contributed to Borough President Melinda Katz’ recent decision to oppose the expansion of Astoria Cove housing development planned for the Queens waterfront. The hope of the denial is to create more discussion on union labor.
Assemblyman DenDekker pointed out Citi Field as a good example of union labor in action. “The Mets never missed a season,” the Queens representative said. “They moved from one stadium to another stadium – all built by union labor. It was done very quickly and very efficiently. That’s what we need to show developers. If you allow us to build it, we’ll build it more productively and safer than any other type of development.”
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