NY Trade Unions Protest DeNiro Studio Project
New York City union chapters have come together to protest against "Wildflower Studios", Robert De Niro's new waterfront Astoria construction project. The $600 million dollar movie studio has broken ground and trade unions are unhappy with the fact that mostly non-union labor is being used.
Last week, representatives from Laborers Local 79, Steamfitters Local 638 and Sheet Metal Local 28 joined State Senator Jessica Ramos to call out De Niro's alleged double standard in promising union jobs once Wildflower Studios is operational- but then not using union labor to build the project.
“Wildflower Studios promised to bring 1,000 good-paying, permanent jobs to Astoria, but there’s no reason those opportunities have to wait until the studio is built,” Ramos said. “When you build the union, your project finishes on time, your worksite is safer and the labor force gets the respect and fair wages guaranteed to them by a solid contract. As a proud union member himself, we know Mr. De Niro knows this, and urge him to put his professed values behind his hiring practices.”
Union leaders point out De Niro's history with unions and the benefits that he has received from his membership in SAG-AFTRA throughout his career.
“Mr. De Niro has benefitted from a long career with union support and representation, and it’s unfortunate he won’t extend the same opportunities for unionized construction workers at Wildflower Studios,” said Laborers’ Local 79 Business Manager Michael Prohaska.
Construction is scheduled for completion in late 2023. The compound will boast of 11 sound stages, 310 off-street parking spaces and a waterfront public boardwalk.
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