12 Workers Walk Off Non-Union Brooklyn Navy Yard Job
On Wednesday afternoon, a dozen ironworkers walked off a job constructing a 16-story office building as part of the larger Brooklyn Navy Yard redevelopment project. They cited unsafe working conditions, lack of benefits, and poor pay as reasons for their action. After walking off the job, the workers were welcomed by New York State District Council of Ironworkers President/NYC CLC Executive Board Member James Mahoney, as well as members of the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental, and Reinforcing Iron Workers, Laborers Local 79, and the NYC Community Alliance for Workers Justice.
The contractors in charge of the Brooklyn Navy Yard project, Gilbane Building and FJM Ferro, have track records of exploiting their workers and creating dangerous working conditions. Workers who walked off the job Wednesday confirmed that these dangerous work practices are being repeated on the Brooklyn Navy Yard project, with striking ironworker Frank Spiegel explaining that workers were being forced to work alone. Omar Satta, another worker who walked off the job, said: “I’m trying to do what’s best for me, and the union is the better way to go.”