TIAA-CREF Drops Controversial Real Estate Project
Facing fierce protests from unions, TIAA-CREF has sold its interest in a real estate construction project at 5-11 47th Avenue in Long Island City that has become notorious for its poor working conditions and failure to pay prevailing wages and benefits. The campaign against the Queens construction “sweatshop” was spearheaded by the New York District Council of Carpenters (NYCDCC) and received important support from the PSC and its national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, persuading TIAA-CREF CEO Roger Ferguson to drop support for the 47th Avenue development.
“Carwasheros” Sign First Union Contract
On May 29, workers at the Hi-Tek Car Wash & Lube in Queens became the first group of “carwasheros” in New York City to ratify a union contract. The three-year contract provides for annual raises, a fair distribution of work hours, five paid sick days a year, unpaid leave to visit their home countries and the establishment of a grievance procedure. The carwasheros are affiliated with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which is working with community allies to unionize the roughly 200 car washes in New York City that have an estimated 5,000 workers, most of whom are immigrants.