NY nonunion construction: With guns, threats and empty promises this modern day gangster keeps his workers from joining a union

Capoccia rose as a housing developer as he donated thousands of dollars to the campaigns of Mayor Giuliani, Governor Pataki, and President Bush. He recently told the newsletter The Real Deal that he launched his career by using a truck full of day laborers hired from a street corner.

The image “http://media.villagevoice.com/2279156.64.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Word is that there are about 52 hotels in the works that will be built completely Nonunion in New York, when they are complete there will be no Hotel workers union either, heres a kinda/sorta follow up to NYC: Four Points by Sheraton Paying Poverty Wages / Using Taxpayers For Workers Healthcare

How does New Yorks biggest Non-Union contractor stop his employees from being union?

With guns and threats, this isn't a new thing, but in todays main stream media, it's hard to come by. We have focused on the contractors in the past and the illegalities in the nature of their business, these are the scum bags that are building high rise towers for the likes of Sheraton all over the city. They have immense Bush/Neo-Con/corp ties, and hire an almost entire undocumented workforce. Not only that, when the business opens up they treat their employees like shit too. I know, on previous I have been on the picket lines and when there was a union vote about a month after the employees signed cards to become union, I was there in support of these workers getting the rights to collective bargaining they deserve. Think about it, these workers who work in fear and have absolutely no voice signed the majority of the cards needed to be in a union and a month and a half later, from the amazingly accurate "High-Cost Condos, Low-Cost Labor—and Threats of Violence to Union Organizers"- Village Voice (6/24/08):
Workers there tried to vote in the carpenters union last year. In an affidavit to federal labor officials, a former supervisor at the hotel project described the response from Auringer's project manager after he asked the boss about the union: "He said he had about six guns on the job, and he had people there who would do whatever needed to be done. He said that he could dig a hole and put me in it and make the records showing I worked for the company disappear."

Other workers at the project told the National Labor Relations Board that managers promised them a $5-an-hour raise to vote against the union. Last November, the NLRB ordered Auringer to post a notice promising not to make such threats. A new vote was canceled after Auringer fired 10 pro-union employees on the election's eve. An NLRB official said the matter is under investigation.

The article fails to mention, the private meetings that the employees had to sit through.

This is a good reason that America needs the Employee Free Choice Act. They sign the cards, they get into a union. No guns, no threats, no bullshit propaganda.

Today the corporate backed, immigration enforcement ignored, slave owners of multi national corporations get everything on a silver platter, while the working class people and those that actually want to embrace them and get them representation are almost totally ignored in the anti-union main stream media. Thank goodness for people like Tom Robbins, from the Village Voice and Steven Greenhouse at the Times for actually writing facts about workers here in New York.

Response to Bernie Carr at New York State Association for Affordable Housing

This mans comment to the story in the Voice must be responded to, if indeed he wrote them he is an utter asshole. When a poster wrote:
robbins said: crane accidents=union, corruption=union, middle class=union, ...get the facts straight....nyc was built on the minortiy working class.. we have a right to work in this city too cause you white people in the unions will not let us in..please tell the union not too burn anymore vehicles and physically beat us up in the streets of nyc.. your nazi regime is not going to work in the costruction industry anymore...
Which is amazingly stupid to say in it's own right, considering that in much of this article the unions are trying to actually get these workers into their ranks, please read the entire Voice story and see how these nonunion thugs operate, not to mention how many times union workers are attacked on the street on front of these jobsites when they are peacefully protesting, again I have been there to witness it. We then have this asshole agreeing with the above comment, thats all fine and dandy, because we expect ignorance written in comments on the internet, but after being in quite a few Central Trades and Labor(NYCCLC) meetings when building projects are spoken of and affordable housing and middle income housing is always mentioned as something worth fighting for the next comment threw me for a loop. It seems from the nickname he chose that he is none other than Executive Director of the obviously corporate backed(see picture and logos on the sign behind Mr.Carr) NYS Association For Affordable Housing:
bernie@nysafah.org: The last comment was absolutely right! NYC construction jobs should go to NYC residents, especially minority residents, not a bunch of corrupt union guys from the suburbs. No one spends more on lobbyists and campaign contributions than unions, that's why they're so powerful even though they haven't represented the little guy for decades.
Wow, mysteriously the NYS division for housing and urban renewal has taken the original pictures and changed the URL's so they can not be displayed here, silly criminals, I'm a little smarter than you thinkThis makes me wonder, who owns this guy? He agrees with the obviously racist post of the guy before him, then goes on to attack union workers even more so, doesn't he have a clue, did he read the story? the entire body of which is how the unions are trying to get these non-union workers into their ranks. How the non-union developer has even gone as far as having a thug follow Omar Lopez, the organizer for the Ironworkers Local 361, to his home while he was with his daughter and threaten him at his door.

Did he read that the threatened union ironworker is a native of El Salvador and a current Queens resident? From the same article as above:

The ironworkers decided to blow up a photo of Capoccia and mount it on a truck. They wrote beneath it: "Shame on Donald Capoccia—Don't profit off immigrant worker poverty." It also carried the developers' office and cell-phone numbers. Then they drove the truck around the work site, City Hall, and Capoccia's bank.

On Saturday evening, June 14, Lopez was in front of his Elmhurst home about to take his nine-year-old daughter to buy some ice cream when a menacing figure appeared. "The guy was about five-foot-nine; he's carrying this big green umbrella and glaring at us. I had a bad feeling. I told my daughter we had to go back. She knew something was wrong. She ran right upstairs and told my wife to call 911, that Daddy was in trouble."

Lopez ducked inside and peered through the window. The lurker walked past his door and disappeared. When he opened the door to look down the street, the man was standing on an adjacent stoop, staring. "I said, 'Are you looking for me?' He cupped his ear like he didn't hear me. I said, 'Are you fucking looking for me?' Then he ran at me with the umbrella and reached under his jacket. I closed the door. He hit the door a bunch of times with the handle of the umbrella. He was shouting, 'I find you and I got you now!' He did that a few times and then went away.' "

Mr.Carr, you attack union workers who live in this city and you attack our entire organizations from a glass house, you speak of lobbyist, just one look at that picture above and it all seems clear, all the banks who helped lend out mortgages that people now cannot afford.

You and your group have done nothing to help keep mid-range wage earners stay in this city, wheres my affordable housing?

Every time an apprentice recruitment is released for the union trades I try my best to post it on this site, there is no discrimination in the hiring practices, any New York City resident can apply.

I have often spoken of how people of all race who get what is known as a "good union job" choose to leave the city as the sentiment of a better life for your family is often thought of as not achievable in this city. Everyone I talk to about where to find an affordable place to live with my girl and her 2 children talks of upstate New York and New Jersey, most recently my Laborer friend, who is a native from the Bronx and a Puerto Rican(since you all like to talk shit about race) found a nice home Upstate. Oh, and 3 out of the 4 last work partners I had were not white, only 1 chose to remain in Brooklyn, only for the fact that his grandparents bought his house many years ago.

So a big fuck you Mr.Carr, for talking shit and rubbing shoulder of the enablers of mistreatment of immigrants, citizens and financial enslavers of the working class. You yourself are a lobbyist for the people and companies that help deny my fellow New Yorkers a fair days wages for a hard days work, just another stuffed white shirt sucking up corporate money disguised as a fighter for the people, say hello to that other divisional profiteer for hire, Al Sharpton for me.

Oh, I'm sorry, looks like you only hang with white people.

WOW, the pictures were removed by the New York States Division Of Affordable Housing?? They seem to have read this article and don't want the dirty little 'secret's' about our friendly Mr.Carr let out to the public.

Mr.Carr, since you agree with all the bullshit that robbins posted, why not in your high and mighty position take a stand against New Yorks sweatshop construction practices?

Till then, thanks for nothing!

A HUGE thanks to Michael, the UFT writer who pointed this article out.

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