Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Willets Point Statement...



November 11th, 2008

New York State’s Largest Grocery Workers Union Calls on New York City Council to Support Willets Point Redevelopment; Vote To Be Held 11/13/2008

The following statement was released today by President Bruce W. Both, President of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500:

“While UFCW Local 1500 has long supported the development of Willets Point, we have always respected the leadership shown by Queens Councilmember Hiram Monserrate to ensure that the project includes affordable housing and a plan to relocate current tenants.

As we close in on this Thursdays vote on the re-zoning of Willets Point by the New York City Council, UFCW Local 1500 wants to strongly encourage the Council to pass the re-zoning plan. All parties have worked admirably to bring about the best possible resolution. However, we get to a moment where everyone must understand the benefits of passing this redevelopment plan and the serious consequences if the Council fails to act.

This plan will bring thousands of construction jobs that pay outstanding wages and benefits to the New York City economy. It will also include thousands of post construction jobs that will also provide living wages, affordable health care and many other economic benefits. It will also include a Supermarket, which is so important as the City realizes it is facing a crisis of Supermarket closings. That combined with affordable housing makes this a project that must go forward.

Failure to act on a project that includes thousands of jobs with important wage and benefit provisions at a time while New York City faces a serious financial crisis will add to that crisis.

There has been leadership, fair negotiations and the direct involvement of the New York City labor movement in this process. Now is the time to bring this project to a successful conclusion with a positive vote by the New York City Council on Willets Point redevelopment.”

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 is based out of Queens Village and represents 23,000 grocery workers in the Metropolitan New York area including but not limited to Pathmark, Stop and Shop, Shop Rite, D’agastinos, Fairway and Gristedes.

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