Financial 411: Developers, Workers Spar on Contracts

New York City has been transformed in the past decade by a construction boom, which created not just office buildings but lots of new condos. The recession put an end to the rapid growth. Construction has dropped 22 percent since 2008.

But as the industry begins to show signs of life again, there is a fight developing between developers and their carpenters, concrete workers, and other unionized employees. Nearly two dozen labor contracts are set to expire at the end of this month, and the negotiations are bogged down as builders ask for concessions from unions.

Danny Massey is a reporter with Crain's New York Business, and attended a discussion on Thursday sponsored by the Regional Plan Association, where both sides were represented. He said negotiations were tense.

"At this stage of the game, three weeks before the expiration of some two dozen contracts, it seems like there is such an incredible gulf between these two sides," he said, "that doesn't really seem evident now how it's going to be resolved."

Massey explains what's at stake in this latest round of negotiations, and what it could mean for the city's construction industry.


Markets rose on Thursday. The Dow climbed 75 points, to close at 12,124. The S&P 500 was up nine points, closing at 1,289. The NASDAQ also rose nine points, to close at 2,685.