Friday, September 05, 2008

UFCW on the Iron Triangle

In this week's Crain's Insider, the UFCW's Local 1500 voices its concerns with Willets Point:

Willets Point Snag

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1500 is reconsidering its support for the city’s Willets Point project because the union now questions whether the Bloomberg administration will push for supermarkets there. A (nonunion) Costco proposed for the West Side infuriated the union, which represents supermarket workers. “The mayor’s support of the Costco in Manhattan is giving us great pause to question the sincerity of the supermarket initiative,” says Local 1500 official Pat Purcell. “It seems to completely contradict the stated priorities"—reducing congestion and aiding supermarkets. A spokesman for the mayor says, “Given the immense benefits of the project, we are confident UFCW will continue to support it.”

Well, it appears that the Local will not withdraw its support for the Willets Point project-at least not entirely-but according to Pat Purcell, there will be plenty of public commenting about the mayor's lack of sincerity when it comes to standing up for those who support his initiatives. Look for the union's presence at the (Senator Bill Perkins sponsored) eminent domain hearing to be held on the 17th. Pat, et al, feel that if eminent domain can be used to displace small, minority owned businesses, then it could also be used to protect and promote supermarkets and their workers (Bruckner Boulevard anyone?).