January 19, 2018 – Jersey City, NJ – On January 18th, the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) joined New Jersey organizations, elected officials, Jersey City religious leaders, small businesses and members of the general public at the New Jersey Working Families Community Forum in Jersey City.
The Forum, held at the City Line Church (1510 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City), brought together City leaders to discuss the need for building developers and their contractors to employ Jersey City workers on existing/future development and infrastructure projects in the City.
Forum panelists included:
- Former New Jersey Governor James McGreevey (moderator)
- Louis Di Paulo, New Jersey Working Families
- Reverend Joshua Rodriguez, Pastor, City Line Church
- Joyce Watterman, Jersey City Councilwoman
- Lizette Delgado-Polanco, NRCC Political Director
- Vanessa Salazar, NRCC Council Representative
- Thomas Hurley, NRCC Council Representative
- Sam Conaway, Union carpenter and Jersey City Resident
“We held this Forum to ask religious and community leaders in Jersey City to join us in the fight against unfair and unjust development that leaves Jersey City residents behind,” said Analilia Mejia, Executive Director of New Jersey Working Families. “Every day in Jersey City, there are new multi-million-dollar high-rise buildings being constructed and these projects aren’t employing local, minority workers who live in Jersey City."
Since July 2017, the NRCC has sought to raise awareness for the business and employment practices of the companies developing the new Park and Shore residential/retail development at 75 Park Lane in Jersey City.
Structure Tech, the subcontractor responsible for construction of the concrete super structure at Park and Shore, is employing approximately 100 workers from outside of the State of New Jersey and is failing to pay the area wage standards, health and retirement benefits to its workers.
The Park and Shore luxury development, near the Hudson River waterfront, is also utilizing controversial EB-5 visa financing from overseas investors in order to build the project. Two years ago, Strategic Capital, the United States arm of Chinese State Construction Engineering Corporation, raised $110 million from the EB-5 program from 220 foreign investors for the development of the $442 million Park and Shore development. The EB-5 program offers visas to foreign investors who provide more than $500,000 to a development project that generates more than 10 jobs per investor.
“Northeast Carpenters’ Local 253 has nearly 135 Jersey City residents who have the skills and training necessary to work on a large development project like this one,” said Alex Lopez, NRCC’s Hackensack Team Lead and Council Representative. “Despite the fact that local labor is readily available, contractors would rather ship in workers from out-of-state and pay them below area standard wages and benefits. This hurts not only workers, but it hurts the local Jersey City economy and the State of New Jersey overall in lost tax revenues.”
About the NRCC
The Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters (NRCC) represents nearly 40,000 hardworking men and women in Delaware and New Jersey and portions of Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. NRCC is one of the largest trade unions on the East Coast. The NRCC equips professional men and women carpenters with the skills, training and quality workmanship that are demanded in today's construction industry. For more information on NRCC, please visit our website: northeastcarpenters.org & like us on social Facebook: facebook.com/NortheastRegionalCouncilofCarpenters; Twitter: @nrccarpenters; Instagram: @northeastcarpenters; LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/18403263; and Snapchat: @nrccarpenters