Protesters Call for More Jobs at AY, Downtown Projects

This morning protesters outside the Atlantic Yards site claimed that they’d been deceived about job creation at Atlantic Yards and other developments in Downtown Brooklyn. As Atlantic Yards Report explains, the protest was organized by People for Political and Economic Empowerment (P.P.E.E), who initially supported Atlantic Yards because of the jobs it was supposed to create. Martin Allen, president of P.P.E.E, told AY Report: “We was there when you called us, to go in front of the press, and speak our minds about jobs and contracts, about why Atlantic Yards was a good project for Brooklyn. So don’t turn your back now after you feel like you got your foot in the door, and leave us standing on the other side of the doorway.” That sentiment was echoed this morning as protesters gathered to yell through a megaphone outside the construction site. “We’re fighting because we’ve been lied to,” Allen told the crowd. “We were promised jobs and they never came.” He also yelled toward the construction site, addressing developer Bruce Ratner: “You’re shameful… you’re a monster to Brooklyn.” Another protester, taking the megaphone, said, “This is just the beginning. We’ll be here, and you’ll be held accountable. You can run but you can’t hide.” Click through for more photos.
Formerly Vocal and Distruptive Atlantic Yards supporters, P.P.E.E., to Rally July 27 [AY Report]

15 Comment

  • I’m sure this will be written off as the complaining of a bunch of “entitled” people who should be off looking for work. It’s not.

    From the very beginning, FCR touted AY as a place that would offer employment for thousands. Not just in well-paying construction jobs, but also through the jobs that the new offices and businesses coming to the complex and the older surrounding hub would bring.

    They recruited minority jobs organizations such as BUILD to fill the seats at meetings and heckle down “white NIMBY’s” as racists who didn’t want to see black people with jobs. We won’t even mention ACORN or Rev. Daughtry. The result was a carefully crafted them vs us, poor vs rich dichotomy that was supposed to derail opposition to AY, by the sheer virtue of the supposed elitist and racist motives of people like Goldstein et al.

    I said then, and I repeat now, that that was despicable. Sadly, now the fowl are returning to their domiciles, as it were. BUILD was given only a handful of construction jobs. By having the would-be construction workers go through the unions, whose doors are pretty much closed, FCR was able to say, “We tried, it’s not our fault the unions aren’t opening up. ” Now they can say, “The opposition and their lawsuits caused delays, so the new offices won’t be built. It’s not our fault.”

    All I can say is NEXT time, and there will be one, somewhere…..If the person holding the contract requiring you to sign away your sanity and integrity, has horns, a pitchfork, and reeks of brimstone, don’t allow him to tell you it’s only Halloween. Call hell, and see if the boss is in. He might be out recruiting fools.

  • hmmm. don’t know, there is a construction project underway, lots of people are working on it, it’s a union crew, what are the protestors seeking? there is a sad tradition in Brooklyn of certain coalitions demanding “jobs” at construction sites while in actuality what they seek is protection money by way of no-show jobs. That is corruption and it should not be tolerated. If these folks are skilled construction workers I doubt they would be protesting. And if they are not skilled construction workers, why are they seeking jobs in a union construction site? I have to know more about this, but the threatening tone is an indication to me that these are not professionals seeking to be let into the union or seeking true construction jobs. I could be wrong. Just don’t know.

  • minnie, they are protesting because promises were made during the public (such as it was) review of the project that they believe were unfulfilled.

    If you are saying, ‘well, you fools, you learned nothing from Metrotech and got played–too bad,’ I don’t know what I would say in response.

  • Agreed. There should be jobs. However, what was discussed with a multi-thousand apartment house development with offices and an arena. Only the latter is being built – with union labor – so until it opens no jobs. And until large project built won’t be large number of jobs.

  • if you really want to be hired try a different tack than calling the head guy a monster to Brooklyn and telling him he can run but he can’t hide. That’s extortion language. Sorry.

    • Minard, I think it’s more frustration than extortion. As g-man said, “Played again.”

      Besides, very few people know how construction unions work. I don’t know all that much, either fwiw. All they know is promises were made, (that were probably unrealistic, to say the least, in the first place), and then broken.

  • Minard- The issue is that the BUILD folks are non-union. In most cases in NY you need to get into union apprenticeship programs in order to get into the union. Those programs require things like recommendations from current members or having work experience that would only come from being in a union. Bottom line is its hard to get into the trades unions. FCR made promises to BUILD and others that access to union apprentiship programs would be provided and that a certain number of non-union folks would get the opportunity to try for jobs. When it came down to it, the unions didn’t deviate from their normal actions and no jobs were available, The fact that someone is non-union doesn’t make them unskilled, nor does it generally mean that they are looking to get a no-show job. As to those who organize the non-union folks, that’s another story, but I would say that there are some people who legitimately wanted to work who have been shafted by this whole thing.

    I just remain amazed that they thought that the aligator wouldn’t eat them.

  • the trade unions are tough to get into, no question, but you can get into one if you try and are willing to put in your apprenticeship years. The good news is that there are plenty of non-union construction jobs as well. If you want to work and have skills you will not be unemployed for long in the construction business right now in NYC. walk down any street and you will see at least one or two sidewalk sheds.

  • They should go eff up Daniel Goldstein, not Ratner. If it wasn’t for his dumb ass, the apartments would be well under way and there would be a lot more jobs. Meanwhile he’s got his $3 million.

    • Get your facts straight before you spout off utter rubbish like this. Goldstein’s the hero in this tale and Ratner the one who walked away with untold millions of subsidized dollars. If you are capable of assimilating pertinent information, read the summary section of Atlantic Yards Report.

  • Not really happy to say this, but I told you so. No way were unions going to let most people on, no matter what. They all live in NJ and on LI and want to keep it that way. Sorry!

  • unfortunately the good government groups that perhaps could have kept the developer’s feet to the fire and made him keep his promises were all fighting to kill the project completely. Lets not forget that this is just a sports arena, it is neither the demise of Brooklyn nor the answer to all its problems.

  • I pretty much agree with you on this, bxgrl. (actually, I often agree with you) On thing is that I am virtually sure that ACORN (and Bertha) knew what was up with Ratner and went along with his lies so long as he was giving them their cut.
    And Minard, it is just a sports arena, not a particularly nice one either, but it is being paid for with a good chunk of taxpayer money. That’s the part I find galling … well, along with the sheer ugliness of the project, the extremely long build out timeline, etc etc.