The word union means we are all together. No one is out there on a limb by himself.

~ Leroy Abramson, 32BJ Member, New York

Residential Workers in the Bronx Need Our Support

Filed in Division: ,
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by Kyle Bragg
32BJ Secretary-Treasurer

We all agree that we need more affordable housing in New York City but we also need good jobs to be able to raise our families and call this city home. Phipps Houses, the city’s largest non-profit affordable housing developer, has not fulfilled its moral obligations to support working class New Yorkers. In some of the affordable housing buildings it has developed in recent years the porters and handymen who keep the buildings running are struggling to keep a roof over their head.  They have low pay and few meaningful benefits on the job, while Phipps’ CEO earns $760,000 a year in total compensation.

Please sign this petition calling on Bronx elected officials to demand that if Phipps wants to keep developing in the Bronx it must ensure workers at its buildings are treated with respect.

Phipps House Petition

Phipps Houses is currently seeking approval for two proposed developments in the Bronx that require their properties to be rezoned. We believe that in recent years Phipps Houses has done a disservice to our communities by creating bad jobs in the Bronx—going so far as to work with a contractor that pays employees at Phipps-affiliated complexes poverty wages and no meaningful benefits. Meanwhile, in the last decade the salaries of Phipps’ top executives have ballooned. CEO Adam Weinstein made $760,000 in 2015 (a compensation increase of almost 50% over the last decade), while workers at a Phipps-affiliated complex built under his leadership struggled to make ends meet, many of them resorting to Medicaid or other subsidized insurance to care for their families’ health. We believe this is unacceptable behavior on the part of a developer that receives significant subsidies from New York and forgoes federal income taxes due to their 501(c)(3)status. While benefiting from taxpayer dollars, Phipps has a moral obligation to ensure those dollars are well spent.

We urge Councilmember Salamanca, Councilmember Palma, and all of our representatives in New York City and state government to oppose Phipps’s plans in the Bronx unless it commits to creating high-quality jobs at all its new developments. The Bronx needs affordable housing and good jobs. The city should only work with developers who are committed to creating both.

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