Below we see Baltimore Sun media presenting information on this CAESAR'S bankruptcy but they deliberately leave out all the information that tells WE THE PEOPLE how these corporate bankruptcy deals kill labor and justice. The media uses the right terms-----lower tier and top tier tranches on these bonds----but they don't remind us who that lower tier is. They let us know two corporations are spun off from this bankruptcy ----one with all the assets and one that will be dismantled in bankruptcy. Think of all those local contractors brought into the building of Baltimore's casino-----those are the CREDITORS that will lose in bankruptcy court----none of the global development corporations will lose---just the local subcontractors. Then there is the Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers tied to these global corporate campus projects through state and local BONDS. It will be the Baltimore City and Maryland State taxpayer that is LOWER-TIER AND THE 'RENTER' while global investment firms will own that casino real estate and operate anything on it-----WE THE PEOPLE WILL SEND OUT TAXES TO SUBSIDIZE THIS FOR 30 YEARS.
Lastly, this article does not mention the national casino workers' union pensions and wages tied to corporate bonds as being that LOWER-TIER BOND HOLDER who is sent into bankruptcy court to have union benefits pay for this criminal expansion deliberately leading to bankruptcy.
THINK OF ALL BALTIMORE'S BOND DEALS THESE SEVERAL YEARS----FROM OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO OUR PUBLIC ART MUSEUMS AND PUBLIC PRATT LIBRARY-----OUR PUBLIC HOUSING REAL ESTATE-----ALL TIED TO BONDS JUST AS THIS CASINO DEAL AND COMING WITH THE ECONOMIC CRASH PUSHED INTO BANKRUPTCY WITH COURTS RULING THE SAME WAY----LOWER-TIER BOND HOLDERS LOSERS-----TOP TIER GLOBAL INVESTMENT FIRMS WINNERS.
Every pol in Baltimore City Hall and Maryland Assembly pushing these deals KNEW THIS. Whether an O'Malley or an Erhlich bringing gambling to Maryland the same thing would happen because of how these deals are written. An O'Malley as a Baltimore City Hall City Council member would have been just like a JACK YOUNG today-----sending a few million in PAY-TO-PLAY to local 5% to the 1% to stage what will move billions to global Wall Street and the 1%. Lastly, look from where this court ruling came------CHICAGO. Obama like O'Malley running for President was tied to Harry Reid from Las Vegas ------MR CASINO MAN------and all these deals were pay-to-play in running for higher office. All of this is election fraud and would have decades ago been held accountable by our Maryland Attorney General Frosh-----our State's Attorney Elizabeth Embry----our Baltimore City Attorney Marilyn Mosby as racketeering and corruption but today-----they work for global Wall Street.
WHO ARE THE LOWER-TIER BOND HOLDERS? NO DOUBT CASINO EMPLOYEES-----CITIES LIKE BALTIMORE------WILL BE DESIGNATED 'RENTERS' ----TOP TIER OWNS PROPERTY AND COLLECTS RENT---GLOBAL INVESTMENT FIRMS IN US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES.
In Baltimore we can hear the Wall Street players saying all this is clever----it is not clever it is mafiosa------anyone can win committing crimes.
What happens with all that casino revenue designated for our public schools? Well, that was the lower-tier bond holders----Maryland and Baltimore City government -----they never intended any of these casino proceeds to go to public education.
Caesars Bankruptcy Brawl With Creditors May Be Near Finale
Jodi Xu Klein
September 23, 2016, 5:00 AM EDT September 23, 2016, 12:52 PM EDT
- Midnight deadline for restructuring deal is approaching
- Bondholders, Caesars waiting for senior lenders to join deal
The company is giving creditors until midnight Friday in New York to accept a sweetened offer of more than $5 billion in cash, new debt and stock in a reorganized business. A group of bondholders that have been the biggest obstacle to the company’s plan has agreed on the framework of a deal, according to people familiar with the talks.
The remaining question is whether more-senior lenders -- who had backed previous iterations of the plan -- are willing to sacrifice some of their gains so the new plan can go through.
Under the old proposal on file in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Chicago, they were promised cash, stock and debt worth more than the $11.7 billion in bank loans and first-lien bonds they hold. The new proposal requires them to give up “hundreds of millions of dollars” in recoveries, according to terms Caesars announced Wednesday. As of Thursday, at least some senior lenders were hesitating, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the discussions are private.
A deal would put Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. on track to exit one of the biggest bankruptcies of the past decade. Creditors including David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management have been battling the private-equity titans that acquired the company in a 2008 leveraged buyout, Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital.
Representatives of Apollo, TPG and Caesars didn’t respond to requests for comment on the talks.
By signing onto the latest offer, the dissident bondholders would be bringing the bankruptcy “very close to the finish line,” said Julia Winters, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst in New York and a former bankruptcy litigator.
In exchange for the sweetened offer, bondholders including Appaloosa would be required to drop any legal claims accusing Apollo and TPG and their top executives of plundering the operating company of valuable assets before putting it into bankruptcy. The bondholders, who own the company’s lower-ranking, second-lien notes, have also accused the parent company of reneging on a promise to help pay the operating unit’s debt.
Caesars, Apollo and TPG have all denied the allegations and say their actions were a legitimate attempt to restructure the unit. Caesars has also said the bond terms allowed the company to drop the payment guarantee.
Under the proposal creditors are now weighing, Caesars would boost its contribution of stock, debt and cash by about $1.2 billion to more than $5 billion. This would satisfy second-lien bondholders, who would see their total recoveries go up by $1.6 billion, but only if the higher-ranking creditors agree to reduce theirs.
Various pieces of the Las Vegas-based Caesars empire would be reorganized in and out of bankruptcy to make the deal work.
The non-bankrupt parent, Caesars Entertainment Corp., would combine with its publicly traded affiliate, Caesars Acquisition Co. Creditors of the bankrupt operating unit would own 62 percent of that new company, according to Wednesday’s announcement.
Apollo and TPG would end up controlling about 15.6 percent of this “new CEC”, or about half what they would have gotten under the old plan, Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Philip Brendel calculated.
The bankrupt operating unit would be organized into two new companies. One would operate the casinos as a subsidiary of new CEC. The other would own a large chunk of Caesars’s property and buildings. First-lien bondholders owed $6.35 billion would own the property company and collect rent from the operating company.
The second-lien noteholders would see a jump in recovery on the $5.5 billion they are owed, according to Brendel. Under the old plan, the best they could expect was 55 percent. The current proposal, if it succeeds, would pay them about 68 percent, he said.
Since the bankruptcy began in January 2015, a sticking point for the second-lien investors has been the equity value Apollo and TPG managed to retain in the original proposal. In the new offer, the two firms would see their stakes reduced, but not eliminated. Most equity holders of bankrupt companies typically recover little, if anything.
Winters said the private-equity owners were probably spurred to compromise by pressure from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar, who accused the firms last month of trying to get a “free ride” in bankruptcy while lawsuits against them would be quashed.
“It really compelled Apollo and TPG to fork over” their equity, she said.
The case is In re Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. Inc., 15-01145, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
The second article we posted yesterday spoke of global Wall Street corporations deliberately being sent into corporate bankruptcy BY THEIR CFOs-------CORPORATE FINANCIAL OFFICERS-----who are now being spun off into the global NGOs filling our US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones----like Detroit and Baltimore. Detroit, Baltimore, and all these US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones have been DELIBERATELY loaded with bond debt just to send them into bankruptcy just as a BOEING and CAESAR's was allowed load with corporate bond debt and hyper-expansion. Where are those GLOBAL WALL STREET PLAYER CFOs landing? Well, our BALTIMORE PRATT LIBRARY just named a CFO to handle a once strongest in the nation public library system now slated to by outsourced, privatized and dismantled with all our public library buildings and property handed to global investment firms just as that CAESAR's deal did. What happens to all those live-long middle-class librarians with their pensions? GONE WITH THE WIND. The CFOs attached to all these public buildings---from our public schools, public housing, public art museums, public libraries are going to be told by global banking they must outsource and downsize because of the bond debt placed on them these several years of OBAMA AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL CONGRESS, MARYLAND ASSEMBLY, AND BALTIMORE CITY HALL POLS. Where did all that bond debt go? It is still tied to global corporate campus building-----as with UnderArmour-----downtown hotels------global corporate 'research university structures----that are going to be simply global corporate R and D.
Global Wall Street and our national government labor unions are PRETENDING these bankruptcies will hit only public retirees----but don't worry----Obama and Clinton neo-liberals staged that $20 trillion US Treasury subprimed bond debt just to take out all public sector pensions, retirements, wages, and jobs----TRUMP DOESN'T HAVE TO DO A THING----
Detroit Pensions Threatened By Bankruptcy, Retirees Could Lose Healthcare, Retirement Funds
07/19/2013 09:45 pm ET | Updated Sep 19, 2013
By Joseph Lichterman and Deepa Seetharaman
DETROIT, July 19 (Reuters) - When Paula Kaczmarek moved to Detroit in 1978 to work for the city’s public library system, a guarantee of good retirement benefits was a key sweetener that convinced her to leave her previous job in Boston.
“I basically came here for future security,” said Kaczmarek, who retired in 2012, two years earlier than she planned, as the public library was facing potential layoffs.
Kaczmarek is among the more than 20,000 unionized retirees whose pensions and healthcare benefits hang in the balance after Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
In an interview, Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager, said restructuring the city’s crippling legacy costs is critical to Detroit’s recovery.
“We can’t pay benefits with money that’s not there,” he said. “It can’t be done.”
Retirees and labor officials acknowledged that the city’s finances were in shambles and they would have to share in the sacrifice to help Detroit recover. But they said some of the significant benefits cuts reportedly proposed by Orr in talks with creditors would have a devastating impact on their lives.
“I do have some compassion for people who are investors in Detroit, naturally, because a lot of my pension income is based on investing,” said 63-year-old retired city librarian Ellen Simmons. “But it’s hard to have a lot of sympathy when there are 20,000 real people who are not living high on the hog.”
Although city retirement benefits are enshrined in Michigan’s constitution, there is no clear road map for what will happen in a Chapter 9 bankruptcy, experts said. The question is made more complicated by the fact that it is unclear who has the legal authority to negotiate on behalf of the retirees.
Orr and labor officials have locked horns over how to manage pension and retiree healthcare obligations. Orr was appointed by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder in March to try to resolve the city’s financial crisis and tackle its $18.5 billion in long-term debt.
The city lists about $644 million in unfunded pension liabilities, but Orr has said the number is closer to $3.5 billion if “more realistic assumptions” are taken into account. Other unfunded post-employment liabilities, which include retiree healthcare costs, account for $5.7 billion of the city’s outstanding debts.
The city of Detroit’s two largest unsecured creditors are the city’s general retirement fund and the police and fire departments’ retirement fund.
In a court filing, Orr said the city intended to create a committee of retired employees to represent those workers.
“The appointment of a retiree committee is adequate representation for these individuals and to facilitate the city’s restructuring of its pension and other post-employment benefit liabilities,” Orr said in his filing.
Orr faced three separate lawsuits from current and retired workers trying to bar his attempts to file Chapter 9.
The conflict ratcheted up when Detroit filed for bankruptcy in federal court Thursday just minutes before labor lawyers could block those efforts in another state court located 90 miles (145 km) away.
At this point, it’s unclear how much of a haircut, if any, the retirees will be forced to take. Still, they’re preparing for the worst.
Simmons, who retired in January after working for the public library for more than 30 years, said she might have to go back to work or even move in with one of her children depending on how much is cut from her pension.
“My married kids, do they want mom living with them? They’ll be gracious about it, but that’s not what any of us want,” she said.
Here we see IVY LEAGUE STANFORD UNIVERSITY doing these few decades just what Ivy League Harvard, Princeton, and our Johns Hopkins was doing-----these private universities were allowed to become global corporate campuses tying their 'non-profit university research departments' to GLOBAL CORPORATIONS. This happened during CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA mostly but started under a then Governor Reagan. San Fran and Silicon Valley is now that global Foreign Economic Zone and this is why we are hearing the movement to CALEXIT-------they are wanting to be that independent global Foreign Economic Zone CITY STATE under ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE-----
These private universities have been PATENTING research from rank and file students doing all of the research ---coming up with the ideas----being those lab techs ---ALL WHILE PAYING VERY HIGH TUITIONS. None of this guaranteed jobs----and many caught in these graduate system were those FOREIGN HIGH-SKILLED STUDENTS. When Maryland and Wall Street Baltimore Development say our state and city leads in INNOVATION AND STARTUPS-----this is it. It has nothing to do with citizens in Baltimore or Maryland benefiting----it has nothing to do with local businesses being created. These patents are sold to global corporations, global hedge funds---who then SELECT which global 1% and their 2% will take these PATENTS to global corporate expansion and global Wall Street investor get behind only these CORPORATE UNIVERSITY RESEARCH PATENTS. What Obama and Clinton neo-liberals did these several years is expand this corporate research as university model to our PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES-----which now are the same global corporate structures----subsidizing corporate profits---using our students as free labor----with any real jobs going to the global labor pool 'HIGH-SKILLED' workers. Global 'high-skilled' workers are code for the same global 1% and their 2% NOT BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD REGARDING TALENT OR INTELLIGENCE----simply connected.
'Meanwhile, the Stanford Research Park found traction, housing more established firms like Varian, General Electric, Lockheed, Eastman Kodak and, later, local heroes Hewlett-Packard, in an environment of increasingly stringent suburban planning controls. Many of these companies were the research and development arms of larger firms that grew up on military and aerospace contracts, some affiliated with nearby Moffett Field and Ames Research Center. They would be joined in the 1970s by Xerox PARC, which would develop (but never commercialize) the mouse, graphical user interface, laser printer and local area network'.
So now all of our US public universities are tied to being what used to be separate private corporate R and D-----and we know these public university RESEARCH CAMPUSES----will simply be folded into already existing private global IVY LEAGUES-----as Berkeley becomes Stanford-----as University of Maryland Baltimore becomes Johns Hopkins or global Bloomberg University.
This is why our once strong public universities that used to be hotbeds for political policy discussions and political dissent and protest are now silent----
ssue 553September 2016
The Corporate Campus: A Local History
A glimpse at how Silicon Valley became Silicon Valley.
By Benjamin Grant
Urbanist Article September 21, 2016
Fairchild Semiconductor’s headquarters (c. 1960s) in San Jose shied away from any sort of statement architecture. Functionality was paramount. This attitude influenced much of Silicon Valley office development. Photograph by Marvin Wax, courtesy Computer History Museum
Over the past half century, the innovation sector has become the lifeblood of the Bay Area economy. The Bay Area leads the world’s urban regions in patents, and most of the giants of the digital world are based here. But the spatial, social and environmental legacy of this enviable position is somewhat checkered. Until quite recently, the story of Silicon Valley was intimately bound up in the story of suburban sprawl, of placeless campuses that are isolated and cardependent. It is not uncommon for tourists to go looking for Silicon Valley only to find themselves lost and disappointed in an ocean of asphalt, and to content themselves with a selfie in front of the Googleplex driveway.
The Bay Area’s economic engine is dependent on a spatial pattern that comes with high environmental and social costs. With little open land left to pave, nightmarish commutes and a severe housing crisis, our economic future, enviable lifestyle and long-standing value system hang in the balance. In response, SPUR is taking a close look at the forces that shape our region’s employment landscape through a new policy initiative:
Rethinking the Corporate Campus.
To understand how the current models of innovation sector workplaces came to be, it’s important to examine how they have evolved over time.
The American workplace grew up in tandem with the American city, which by the late 19th century was often (and not unreasonably) perceived as hopelessly polluted, congested and riven by social and economic strife. Although the American city continued its rise until the mid-20th century, the forces that would spell its decline had been gathering steam over many decades. Commuter rail, streetcars and eventually the automobile allowed a widening segment of Americans to move out of the center cities. While at first most people commuted to industrial and commercial jobs downtown, eventually many employers followed suit, moving to suburban communities in search of educated workers, cheap land, fewer unions and a leafy suburban image. The now-familiar commercial landscape of office parks and corporate campuses was born.
In her definitive book on the suburban workplace, Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes, Louise Mozingo proposes three distinct types of suburban workplaces:
> The corporate campus, modeled on university campuses, helped lure top-notch researchers from academic settings into buildings set in parklike grounds meant to facilitate collaboration and creativity.
> The corporate estate provided headquarters for the top management of major companies, set in vast landscapes designed to convey power and prestige.
>The office park was built by developers to house numerous smaller companies or branch offices, who could lease, buy or build to suit one or more buildings with a desirable suburban character.
Bell Labs in Holmdel Township, New Jersey, United States, designed by architect Eero Saarinen, functioned for forty-four years as a research and development facility, initially for the Bell System. The complex was recently transformed into the multi-tenant Bell Works. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons
In the growth of Silicon Valley, the office park model has prevailed, as has its variant the research park, which combined elements of corporate research campuses with a more flexible, multitenant format. Typified by the Stanford Industrial Park (1951, later more palatably rebranded as Stanford Research Park), the New England Industrial Center (1952) and its neighbors on Boston’s Route 128, and North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park (1958), these facilities were located near major research universities to capture a highly educated workforce for companies that would commercialize academic innovation, develop new technologies and conduct government and defense research. It was a winning formula, as academics and technology entrepreneurs formed formidable clusters of companies, opportunities and ideas. In various ways, research parks replicated the suburban planning and design controls pioneered in the city of Menlo Park in 1948, deliberately presenting an alternative to industrial factories, where most research and development functions had traditionally been housed. Each of these three suburban office types aimed to create an insular world, where employees were “captured” for the entire workday and had minimal contact with the public realm. (Each also provided abundant surface parking for all employees.) Over time, variations emerged that would blur the distinctions among these models. Today, the term “corporate campus” has become general shorthand for a range of suburban office types – including most of the formats we’ll explore here.
Founders of Fairchild Semiconductor pose for the company Christmas card in 1957, shortly after the company was founded. Photo courtesy of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries
California Tech: Fairchild, Stanford and Silicon Valley
Many of the earliest, most influential American suburban workplaces were located in the Northeast and Midwest. Bell Labs is the most important early example. It hosted some of the world’s top engineering talent during and after World War II, and is credited with major contributions to radio astronomy, the laser, the solar cell, information theory and the transistor. Built in Murray Hill, New Jersey, in 1942, Bell set the template for the corporate research campus, with comfortable lab buildings replete with sociable lounge spaces in a parklike setting. Other notable suburban employment centers included Eero Saarinen’s Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey (1959), the General Motors Technical Center (1956) and the SOM-designed Connecticut General Life Insurance headquarters (1957).
Many suburban residents were skeptical of commercial and industrial buildings setting up shop nearby. After all, these were precisely the urban activities many suburbanites had moved to get away from. On the other hand, suburban residential communities faced fiscal pressures and needed revenue-generating commercial activity to support services for their new residents.
To overcome incipient local opposition, suburban enterprises were vigorously marketed as “smokeless” industries – the very antithesis of polluting urban industries. Zoning was created to facilitate commercial uses while safeguarding suburban character. Suburban commercial zoning required that buildings be set back from the street behind landscaped buffers, limited building heights and lot coverage and, critically, required parking ratios of 2.5 to 3 spaces per 1,000 square feet. This suburban office park template would come to dominate the national landscape.
In 1956, William Shockley, inventor of the transistor — the foundation of the digital revolution — moved from New Jersey’s Bell Labs to Mountain View, California, in order to commercialize silicon-based transistors. Shockley was a notoriously difficult leader and in short order eight of his talented young engineers — famously dubbed the “traitorous eight” — left to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Fairchild set the stage for the explosion of Silicon Valley technology companies, both technologically, by commercializing silicon transistors and integrated circuits, and in its entrepreneurial culture of fast, collaborative innovation and limited hierarchy. Less auspiciously, the firm also presaged an attitude about work space as a disposable container: modest and unassuming but also unworthy of investment.
The Fairchild model also included a propensity to jump ship and start new enterprises, which though commonplace today was quite radical in the “company man” business culture of the 1950s. In its first 12 years, Fairchild and its employees spun off more than 30 major companies, including Intel, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.
Meanwhile, the Stanford Research Park found traction, housing more established firms like Varian, General Electric, Lockheed, Eastman Kodak and, later, local heroes Hewlett-Packard, in an environment of increasingly stringent suburban planning controls. Many of these companies were the research and development arms of larger firms that grew up on military and aerospace contracts, some affiliated with nearby Moffett Field and Ames Research Center. They would be joined in the 1970s by Xerox PARC, which would develop (but never commercialize) the mouse, graphical user interface, laser printer and local area network.
It became increasingly important for national technology firms to establish a presence in Silicon Valley. The Peninsula was primed for its explosive growth as the global center of technological innovation — all in a postwar suburban environment that was socially homogeneous, spatially dispersed and utterly dependent on the private automobile.
The Innovation Machine:
Venture Capital and the Disposable LandscapeWith all the basic ingredients in place, the only thing left, to use tech industry parlance, was to “scale.” As examples mounted of startup companies transforming new technologies into immense financial returns, a new financial mechanism – venture capital – sprang up to accelerate and standardize the process. Firms like Kleiner Perkins began to set up shop along Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park. Today, Sand Hill’s unassuming suburban offices are the financial engine of Silicon Valley, hosting more than 40 such firms, and are some of the most expensive commercial real estate in the United States.
Abundant capital, inexpensive land and a seemingly endless flow of new ideas allowed Silicon Valley (so named in the early ’70s) to flourish. The physical module of one- and two-story tilt-up buildings surrounded by surface parking and buffered from streets by landscaping became a standard product, delivered on spec by developers for a surging new industry that grew from transistors to chips to personal computers to software. Large, horizontal floors and open plan spaces could be quickly occupied and reconfigured by fast-moving teams. This building strategy allowed companies to grow quickly in discrete and predictable units and then contract just as quickly by shedding them.
This sense of real estate as cheap, interchangeable and basically disposable was a distinctive feature of the Silicon Valley culture and suited its churn of explosive growth and frequent failure. But it took a toll on a once-beautiful and livable landscape. San Clara County’s Valley of Heart’s Delight, named for its stunning expanses of spring-blooming fruit trees, was rapidly paved over, and the quaint commuter towns on the San Francisco peninsula were engulfed by an expanse of astonishingly prosperous but largely indistinguishable office parks.
The suburbanization of work in the Bay Area was hardly limited to the Silicon Valley. In the 1970s and ’80s, new technologies and corporate structures allowed many back-office functions like accounting departments to be relocated away from expensive downtown headquarters (and closer to many workers’ homes) in suburban “edge cities” and office parks located east of Silicon Valley, like Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton and Bishop Ranch in San Ramon.
The Prestige CampusIn the 1990s, as some Silicon Valley companies grew to be widely known and highly visible, a few began to invest in large, distinctive headquarter campuses that were meant to convey permanence and sophistication.
In 1995, Sun Microsystems built an 11-building, one-million-square-foot ground-up campus in Menlo Park, oriented toward an interior green; in 2011, Facebook converted the then-moribund space into an ersatz urban main street. Networking giant 3Com invested heavily in its Santa Clara campus in the late 1980s, with increasingly splashy architectural and landscape gestures connecting its fairly standard large-floorplate buildings.
But many observers point to the short-lived Silicon Graphics Mountain View campus (now the core of Google’s headquarters), designed in 1997 by Studios Architecture and SWA Group, as a turning point in tech campus design. The designers tucked the parking largely out of sight and arranged the whimsically detailed campus buildings – linked by bridges — around central gathering spaces. The campus also won kudos for its relative openness to the public and connection to an adjacent park. Silicon Graphics, with its visual culture and connection to the consumer-facing film industry, wanted a distinctive visual presence, a departure from the generally inward-looking and staid Silicon Valley standard.
Both Sun/Facebook and Silicon Graphics/Google typify what has been called the “hermit crab” model, in which dying companies leave behind “shells” that are reinhabited by rapidly growing ones. From a market point of view, the bigger and more customized the shell, the fewer crabs that can make it fit. From a policy point of view, the location and form of the shells has important implications for the shape of regional growth. Remote, low-density campuses put heavy burdens on crowded roadways, exacerbating congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and cannot be served effectively by public transit.
The typical site plan of buildings surrounded by surface parking and landscape buffers means that the leafy interiors of a campus are often unconnected, and in order to attend meetings or connect with colleagues employees have to navigate awkward expanses of asphalt meant for cars.
The Lure of Downtown
The dot-com boom of the late ’90s was in no small part centered in the brick-and-timber warehouses of San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, which had been largely abandoned after the city’s industrial heyday. Their reinhabitation by commercial ventures was controversial, as it began edging out the immigrants, artists, gays and lesbians, and bohemians who had found a home in these marginal places. The tech sector’s appetite for urban settings echoed the broader American cultural shift back toward the center city.
In recent years, a significant number of technology companies are choosing to locate in central locations in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle and Oakland. Although dot-com-era startups favored SoMa, today major firms are locating — and even building from the ground up — downtown. Twitter, Airbnb and others occupy large former industrial buildings, while Yelp, LinkedIn and Salesforce are doing the once-unthinkable by building or moving into vertical downtown office buildings with modest floorplates. In a business culture born in large, flexible horizontal spaces, this creates real anxieties, with some firms going to considerable expense to open up internal stairs or otherwise ease circulation to encourage the “serendipitous encounters” so valued in the innovation culture.
In Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, Amazon created a huge New York University-style scatteredsite campus with public gathering spaces among the buildings, the bustle of city life apparently more valuable than high-security isolation. In Oakland, Uber is transforming the old Sears department store on Broadway into offices. Given the building’s immediate proximity to BART, Uber sees the location as an extension of its San Francisco headquarters, just a short train ride away. This kind of integration – predicated on public transit and urban amenities – is a departure for many technology employers.
This urban turn is also a step forward from a policy point of view. These workplaces capture the inherent advantages of dense urban environments: They make efficient use of land, provide little or no parking and are readily accessed by foot, bike and transit.
But with only a few small parts of the Bay Area offering the kind of urban life people increasingly prefer, urbanism has turned into a scarce resource, available largely to those on the winning side of uneven prosperity. There is a palpable sense that both San Francisco’s social diversity and its bohemian culture – both accommodated by 20th-century urban decline – can’t survive its intense resurgence. Policymakers face a basic challenge: accommodate the growth of tech employment in the scarce urban core, or push it out to the suburbs with all the inefficiencies that implies.
Doubling Down on Suburbia
Despite the moves of high-profile companies like Salesforce, Twitter and Airbnb, not everyone is moving downtown. As much as planners and policymakers would prefer that employers locate in urban centers near transit, the current boom has shown the limits of San Francisco’s ability to accommodate that growth. Neither Oakland nor San Jose, in spite of some successes, has proven attractive to the broader office market. Instead, some of the biggest firms continue to bank on the enduring cachet of the Peninsula; or perhaps they identify culturally with the Silicon Valley, or are simply stuck there with irreplaceable real estate holdings. It is interesting to note that many tech firms with global reach typically locate in dense urban centers around the world – yet house their respective headquarters in the suburban Peninsula.
To compete for talent, these companies must contend with formidable transportation and housing challenges, as well as the urban preferences of many workers. Facebook recently expanded into its Frank Gehry-designed West campus, connected by tunnel to its earlier facility. Essentially a warehouse for engineers, the West campus’s 430,000-square-foot interior is the ultimate open office, topped by a massive roof garden, its ground floor all parking. Facebook may have adopted the tenets of New Urbanism for its first Menlo Park campus but the Gehry building’s only nod to the city is its edgy interior design.
Apple, a hardware company whose culture is famously secretive and insular, is nearing completion of the most expensive office building in history (estimates are currently at $5 billion). The so-called “spaceship” — 2.8 million square feet and nearly 11,000 parking spaces — was designed by architect Sir Norman Foster. Both a memorial to founder Steve Jobs, who conceived of it, and a potent symbol of Apple’s devotion to design, it is a return to the corporate estates of the 1950s — and potentially to their problems. The irony is that fixed megastructures like this one forgo one of the main virtues of the Silicon Valley model: the flexibility and ready exit strategy that come with the standardized suburban product.
Although the trend toward fixed prestige campuses is relatively new in Silicon Valley, it represents a return to the traditional suburban corporate campus of midcentury. Even as work proceeds in Cupertino, for example, developers are struggling to rework large, purpose-built campuses that have been vacated elsewhere. Bell Labs in Holmdel, New Jersey, abandoned after the decline of its corporate founder, is now being reimagined as a multiuse “innovation center,” adding a hotel, retail and co-working space surrounded by suburban housing. Raleigh’s Research Triangle Park is similarly rebranding itself as a mixed-use community. General Electric has decamped from its suburban Connecticut headquarters to central Boston, where it can take advantage of a highly educated workforce and an ecosystem of innovative startup companies. As these examples attest, the fate of its suburban campus is unresolved.
At the Samsung campus in San Jose, designed by NBBJ, the ground floor works symbiotically with the surrounding sidewalks and public spaces. Photo by Tim Griffith, courtesy NBBJ
New Forms: Can Smart Hybrids Yield a More Efficient Middle Ground?
Some of the most interesting new workplaces in the innovation sector are in neither the urban core nor the suburban campus. Driven by intense demand, new hybrids are springing up, some of which point the way toward solutions that can serve industry needs while aligning better with the planning and policy imperatives of the 21st century.
Retrofitting car-dependent suburbia toward a more walkable and efficient pattern has emerged as one of the signal urban policy challenges of our time. With urban locations in short supply, we are left to try and create more of them – a surprisingly tricky challenge. Several major tech employers have invested in workplaces that help stake out this new territory.
Samsung’s new Silicon Valley headquarters embraces the city of San Jose’s urban vision for its North First Street tech corridor, decisively meeting the sidewalk in front of the adjacent light rail. Designed by NBBJ and SWA Group, the two 10-story towers with ground floor retail, linked by outdoor walkways, represent a vertical alternative to the one- to three-story tilt-ups that predominate in this less-prestigious corner of the Valley. Because Samsung owns the property, it was not subject to the speculative calculus that has prevented many other projects from buying into the urban idea.
In downtown Redwood City, cloud storage firm Box has leased two seven-story towers directly above the Caltrain station. The project, built by Kilroy Realty, was subject to Redwood City’s ambitious urban design standards, which emphasize pedestrian-friendly ground floors. To address its future growth potential, Box leased both buildings and is currently subleasing the second tower for one- to three-year durations that provide it the flexibility to expand and contract over time. Parking is shared on a timed basis between the building and the downtown public, and employees are encouraged to patronize local businesses. Samsung and Box demonstrate the untapped potential of thinking more urbanistically about corporate campus design and location.
At Bay Meadows, a former racetrack in San Mateo, the developer Wilson Meany has also bet on Caltrain as an organizing amenity, building a complete, walkable urban neighborhood that combines housing, retail, open space, a private high school and largefloorplate office buildings clustered at the rail station. The concept is paying off: SurveyMonkey moved here from downtown Palo Alto, where limited zoning capacity in the station area precluded its expansion. Bishop Ranch, the venerable suburban office park in San Ramon, is seeking to reinvent itself as an urban center in the suburbs with a Renzo Piano-designed shopping mall and 5,000 units of multifamily housing.
These projects are rare examples of developers pushing a smart alternative to the standard speculative product, which has to date paid handsome and predictable dividends.
I wanted to share this once more to show what is the same thing happening to this NYU campus----same as the BIOTECH PARKS tied to Johns Hopkins and UMMS-----they are sold as bringing jobs----being innovation and startup hubs----but all of this is a lie. They will simply be that global corporate campus center for bringing global corporate factories from overseas Foreign Economic Zones---all those technology factories that killed Chinese environment and workers---will flood into these US Foreign Economic Zones as extensions of these global corporate university campuses called RESEARCH ------all labor will be free as students are kept from high school through years of graduate school being those research assistants. All global corporate university staff will be that global labor pool working for a bed and a meal.
Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation
December 11 at 11:00am · NYU has revealed their design for a gargantuan new building at Mercer and Bleecker Streets -- the first of their 20 year expansion plan we fought vociferously against. NYU calls the design "elegant" and "transparent"; we call it 'lipstick on a pig':
People thinking all this is good sustainable development policy need to think what having massive global corporate campuses does to freedoms, citizens' voices, choices in jobs and future career choices because-----global corporate campuses will be those TRACKING OUR STUDENTS FROM PRE-K TO CAREER COLLEGE telling parents and students where our children will be apprenticed.
NYU Mega-Complex Design Revealed
New York University has revealed design plans for its gigantic “Zipper” building to replace the Coles Gym on Mercer Street between Bleecker and Houston – view them here. The enormous 320 foot long, nearly 300 foot tall, almost 1 million square foot building, consisting of a series of interlocking and projecting components, was part of the NYU Twenty Year expansion plan approved in 2012 by Mayor Bloomberg, the City Council (led by Councilmembers Margaret Chin an Christine Quinn), and then-Borough President Scott Stringer. GVSHP, NYU faculty, and dozens of community groups sued to overturn the approvals, which succeeded at the State Supreme Court level, but this ruling was overturned by the State Court of Appeals.
The plans show a largely glass and metal structure rising from a massive base to a series of protruding towers of different heights. NYU claims the new design promotes “transparency” and “connectivity” between the university and the surrounding community; GVSHP vigorously disputes that claim.
As a result of overwhelming opposition to the NYU expansion project, its size was cut down somewhat and a small number of public benefits were extracted from the university as part of the deal. GVSHP will monitor these developments closely to ensure that any and all commitments are maintained and any limits imposed upon NYU are adhered to – particularly as the university has a long history of not abiding by such agreements.
Maryland and Baltimore is using DATA to say Baltimore is growing its MILLENNIAL population when in fact all those millennial are tied to being students ----to being students working at NGOs trying to shed student debt-----and all are rotating in and out of Baltimore as any university student does. Many are foreign students----many foreign students stay as HIGH-SKILLED labor taking the few REAL JOBS created in Baltimore from global corporate campus development. As with Detroit---the next fastest growing millennial population in the US FOR THE SAME REASON-----the people getting the real jobs are the global labor pool----the people assigned to being VISTAS-----part-time or temporary NGO directors or staff to pay down college debt are US students unable to get REAL jobs after graduation.
WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT USING SKEWED DATA AGAIN TELLING US BALTIMORE HAS THE FASTEST GROWING MILLENNIAL POPULATION IN THE US!!!! THAT IS VERY INTERESTING---COULD IT BE THAT ALL EMPLOYMENT AND JOB CREATION IS TIED TO GLOBAL NGOs WITH UNIVERSITY GRADS BROUGHT IN WORKING TEMPORARY AND/OR PART TIME NON-PROFIT JOBS?
“We’re the 4th fastest growing millennial population in the US and we have the 8th largest millennial population overall,” Cole says. “You add in Under Armour, you add in John’s Hopkins University, the University of Maryland and two rapidly growing bio-parks and all of a sudden you have this young vibrant workforce. A lot of things drive our millennial growth but by all relative terms living in an urban area, this is still one of the less expensive areas up and down the East Coast. It is exponentially cheaper to live here than in Washington, D.C., so we also see a lot of people who choose to live here and commute using the train.”
Greater Baltimore has experienced the 4th fastest growth of young professionals with advanced degrees among the 25 largest metros.
OH, REALLY???? ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE FLOOD OF COLLEGE GRADS FORCED TO WORK AS VISTAS AND OTHER NON-PROFIT STATS TO SHED SOME TUITION DEBT?
These foreign 'high-skilled' workers from Asia, Africa, Latin America are being used and this will get worse as Trans Pacific Trade Pact is installed and Trump eliminates minimum wage----expands foreign high-skilled VISAs ----and brings US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES to operating just as they do overseas---same wages, same work conditions---black, white, and brown US citizens joining the global labor pool train.
ADVANCED DEGREES MEANS MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE IS INSTALLED THE TWO - TIERED COLLEGE STRUCTURE WHERE US STUDENTS 'GRADUATE' FROM FOR-PROFIT CAREER COLLEGES WITH DEGREES---THAT USED TO BE CERTIFICATES. YES, MARYLAND DOES LEAD IN DUMBING DOWN PUBLIC EDUCATION ------
Paper submitted to the 2015 EMAEE conference
Maastricht, 1-3 June 2015
Top R&D investors and international knowledge seeking: the role of emerging technologies and technological proximity
Mafini Dosso and Antonio Vezzani
European Commission, Joint Research Centre
Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS)
This paper sheds new lights on the internationalization of technological activities of the top corporate R&D investors worldwide. In order to do so, we provide evidence on the process determining their R&D location strategies. The empirical analysis is based on the patenting activities of the top R&D investors, as reported by the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, at the USPTO over the period 2010–2012. Our results show that technological proximity to the host country in which they seek for new knowledge is a key determinant in their location decision. Moreover, they also point out the importance of emerging technologies in driving the international knowledge strategies of our companies. Countries willing to attract high-value investments should create an environment conducive to the creation and development
I sat in Maryland Assembly meetings where pols were happy to hand students attending all these Baltimore schools to APPRENTICESHIPS to these global corporate campuses----free labor from K-career college with private Johns Hopkins and our public UMMS handing higher-skilled students for free as well----none of this brings jobs........IT IS A DISGRACE AND WALL STREET BALTIMORE DEVELOPMENT 'LABOR AND JUSTICE' ORGANIZATIONS HYPE THIS AS GOOD FOR WE THE PEOPLE.
Maryland is ranked #1 by EDUCATION WEEK because of this corporatization from K-university----EDUCATION WEEK is a Bill Gates global Wall Street neo-liberal education media outlet.
For-profit colleges in Maryland are ripping off students, consumer group says
By Danielle Douglas-Gabriel February 5
A consumer rights coalition argues that programs at for-profit schools in Maryland cost twice as much as public colleges and don’t deliver on their promises. (iStock)Updated with response from North American Trade School.
Maryland students are making a risky bet when they attend for-profit schools that are saddling them with high levels of debt for what are often worthless degrees, according to a new report from the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.
“Students are not getting what they think they’re paying for,” said Marceline White, the coalition’s executive director. “What they’re getting instead of their dream of improving their lives is what many would describe as a nightmare.”
The consumer advocacy group compared costs, student debt and loan defaults at for-profit colleges, private career schools and public colleges in Maryland, using data from the Department of Education and Maryland Higher Education Commission, a state regulator.
[Second largest for-profit chain to pay $95 million to settle fraud charges]
Advocates found that programs offered at for-profit schools cost at least twice as much as public colleges and universities. One for-profit college in Maryland charges $52,737 for a degree in dental hygiene, while an associate’s degree in the same field at the state’s public colleges costs about one-sixth that price. The average income of a dental hygienist in Maryland is $38,740.
To learn whether local for-profit schools are being transparent about cost, coalition staff posed as prospective students and requested information from six of the 146 career-training schools and four of the 11 for-profit colleges in Maryland.
Six of the nine schools refused to answer any questions over the phone, with five requiring in-person meetings. And once staffers agreed to meetings, they said they were treated to aggressive sales pitches with rare mentions of cost. The following week they received 18 calls and 19 emails, 13 of which came from two for-profit colleges. The coalition declined to identify the schools involved in the mystery shopper experiment.
Given the high cost of obtaining a degree or certificate at many for-profit schools, more than two thirds of students in Maryland take out federal loans to attend, compared to 29 percent of students enrolled in the state’s public institutions, the report said.
Students at for-profit schools in Maryland borrow three times more than their peers at public colleges and universities, leaving school with a median $18,083 in loans. Twenty-three percent of students enrolled in for-profit schools for a certificate or degree default on their loans, compared to 15 percent of students at public colleges in Maryland.
Supporters of for-profit colleges take issue with the characterization of the schools in the report, arguing that their graduation rates are often higher than community colleges.
“The report from the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition is built on anecdotal information, misleading data points and an overall failure to understand why new traditional students choose to attend private sector institutions,” said Noah Black, of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, which represents for-profit schools.
The coalition did note that half the students pursuing a certificate or associate’s degree from a for-profit school graduate, compared to 16 percent at public colleges in Maryland. Advocates say the difference is because for-profit schools grant certificates that take less than a year to complete, whereas the programs at traditional community colleges take longer. Eighty-six percent of students counted as graduates of for-profit schools in Maryland had finished programs that took less than two years, the report said.
“What’s probably the most striking finding is that after accruing debt, many students who are graduating from for-profit schools are not getting jobs in their fields,” White said. Out of nearly 30,000 students enrolled in Maryland’s private career schools in 2012, just 58 percent found jobs, according to the most recent data from the Department of Education. “It’s not a great record.”
Compared to other states, Maryland sets higher standards for career schools and for-profit colleges within its borders, but most laws cover career schools, not for-profit colleges. For example, the state requires a financial guarantee from private career schools that they will reimburse students the cost of attendance in the event the school closes. Advocates want the state to extend that rule to for-profit colleges.
The coalition also is calling on the state to streamline the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s complaint process. It wants Maryland to institute a 72-hour cooling off period for students considering enrolling at a for-profit school and require those schools to clearly display tuition and fees on their websites. The group also wants regulators to set a 70 percent graduation rate and 15.5 percent one-year loan default rate for for-profit colleges in the state that receive federal grants and loans.
“The recommendations in the report, while noble on face, if applied to community colleges and other institutions that serve new traditional students, would result in those institutions failing to meet the thresholds set,” Black said. “Students served by our sector are seeking programs and offerings that are either not offered at other institutions in Maryland or the program’s timetable is not reasonable for a student balancing family and work demands.”
Lawmakers in Maryland are pushing legislation to tighten up regulations that apply to for-profit colleges and career schools. State Sen. Paul G. Pinsky (D-Prince George’s), vice chairman of the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, recently introduced a bill that would address the guarantee fund issue as well as require schools to state upfront whether students would qualify to receive a license upon completion. The bill also would strengthen accreditation of the licensing entity. A hearing on his bill is scheduled for Feb. 24.
“It’s been like the wild west out there, with the way they recruit students and solicit them, particularly poor students,” Pinsky said. “The student is using federal money … doesn’t get a job afterward. They’re left in debt. And some of these schools are playing fast and loose. We need better protections.”
Bernard Reed, 26, said he was frustrated to learn that North American Trade School in Baltimore was not accredited when he graduated from its HVAC training program in 2010. He said the school promised that upon completion of the nine-month program a master technician would verify his hours of training and officials would line up job interviews for him. None of those things happened.
“There were no interviews, no job placement,” Reed said. “After I graduated, I took a trip up to the school to ask if they were still doing the in-house applications. Only thing they gave me was a survey. And that was it.”
About six months after graduation is when he said he found out that the school was not accredited.
Officials at North American Trade School contend that the program was fully accredited at the time of Reed’s attendance, and the school left him four messages to assist with job placement that were never returned.
“We cannot and never have guaranteed a job, we can assist students by offering them a job search class where we prepare them for interviews, help them with a resume and cover letter and assist them in reaching out to companies to see if they have any possible openings,” said Matt Daly of North American Trade School. “We have placed thousands of graduates from our programs, are proud of our accomplishments and know we serve a critical role in helping fill these occupations that our training programs provide students to enter.”
With the $13,000 loan Reed took out to pay for the program coming due, he pounded the pavement looking for work, finding temporary positions as a superintendent at an apartment building, but nothing with much of a future.
He then learned about Project JumpStart, a free pre-apprenticeship program offered by the city of Baltimore to train residents for careers in the construction industry. After completing the 13-week program last year, Reed landed a job doing metal framing and dry wall for a local construction company.
THESE PRE-APPRENTICESHIP JOB TRAINING PROGRAMS ARE NOT FREE---THEY ARE THE NEXT MASSIVE FEDERAL EDUCATION FUNDING FRAUD---THAT K-12 EDUCATION FUNDING THAT SHOULD BE COMING TO PUBLIC SCHOOL CLASSROOMS---OUR HIGH SCHOOL SHOPS AND TECHNOLOGY CLASSROOMS ARE NOW GOING TO THESE PRE-APPRENTICESHIP CORPORATE NON-PROFITS
These are the same games played for decades in government contracts awarded to minority small businesses-----this IS BAD FOR ALL US CITIZENS as what happens to one population group will happen to all groups. So, now white trade workers are being treated just as black workers-------'For example, Moore says there are 12 black workers on the 23rd Avenue project out of 190 total. Those 12 have worked about 2,300 hours total, but one black worker logged 1,310 of those hours. The other 11 averaged 92 hours of work each. When few people of color are trained for the most demanding jobs, those few workers end up getting most of the hours. And that can contribute to the way the project looks to passersby'.
All these US construction workers are kept to part-time-----temporary----on call status that keeps them unstable.
There is not a person in Baltimore who doesn't know these low-income trade worker stats are PHONEY BALONEY!
These are the same games played for decades in government contracts awarded to minority small businesses-----this IS BAD FOR ALL US CITIZENS as what happens to one population group will happen to all groups. So, now white trade workers are being treated just as black workers-------'For example, Moore says there are 12 black workers on the 23rd Avenue project out of 190 total. Those 12 have worked about 2,300 hours total, but one black worker logged 1,310 of those hours. The other 11 averaged 92 hours of work each. When few people of color are trained for the most demanding jobs, those few workers end up getting most of the hours. And that can contribute to the way the project looks to passersby'.
All these US construction workers are kept to part-time-----temporary----on call status that keeps them unstable.
So, Maryland Consumer Rights is a Wall Street player group PRETENDING TO ADVOCATE for WE THE PEOPLE. It will bring these issues forward AFTER GLOBAL WALL STREET is finished using the scam for fraud-----
News • City
City and Neighborhood Disagree About Who's Getting Jobs on 23rd Avenue Construction. Here's Why They're Both Right
by Heidi Groover • Feb 17, 2016 at 3:53 pm
Earl Lancaster, the owner of Earl's Cuts and Styles, and other business owners in the Central District say they rarely see people of color working on the construction project on 23rd Avenue. Kelly O
Yesterday, I posted about how business owners in the Central District say that they rarely see construction workers of color on the city's 23rd Avenue overhaul. The city, meanwhile, says the project actually has better hiring diversity numbers than similar projects have had in the past.
Now, data from the the city's Finance and Administrative Services Department shows that both of those perceptions are partially true.
Here's the deal:
The city has a law, known as "priority hire," meant to hire more diverse workforces on city-funded projects by requiring contractors to hire workers from "economically distressed" zip codes. But that law isn't being applied to this project because of a loophole dealing with how the project is funded. Instead, the city says the contractor on the project is voluntarily abiding by the rules. According to the city, about 32 percent of the hours worked on the 23rd Avenue construction have been completed by people of color.
"I don't know what they've got on paper," Seattle King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson told me Monday when I told him about the city's numbers. "I know on the job, they don't got no people of color."
Here's the catch:
While most of us associate diversity on a construction project with the number of non-white workers employed on the project, the city measures diversity data under its priority hire law based on hours worked, not number of workers. What that means is priority hire goals can be met by relatively few people.
"We often hear the community concern that there are few people of color on projects, even as our statistics show significant increases from past projects," says FAS spokesperson Julie Moore in an email.
There are a few issues at play here.
First, workers of color are working more hours than white workers on the 23rd Avenue project. According to the city, the average white worker hired by the lead contractor on that project worked 143 hours between June and December 2015. But the average person of color on the project worked 273 hours in that same timespan. So, just because 32 percent of the hours on the project were completed by people of color doesn't necessarily mean 32 percent of the workers on the project are people of color. In fact, only about 26 percent of the workers on the project are a racial minority, according to city data. (Most of the minority workers are Hispanic, black, and Asian, according to the city's figures. Another 5 percent are classified as "unidentified.")
On top of that, because of structural inequities, people of color may be less likely to have the types of jobs that will get the most hours on a project like 23rd Avenue. Women and people of color are historically less likely to be recruited into the trades and then given longterm jobs that provide the seniority necessary to earn them journey-level status (meaning they've completed an apprenticeship program), Moore says. If workers of color aren't trained for the highest level spots on projects like this, they'll end up in jobs that don't get as many hours. (Moore's analogy: "If you’re building a house, the workers constructing the framing are likely to be on the site for much longer than the workers installing carpet.")
For example, Moore says there are 12 black workers on the 23rd Avenue project out of 190 total. Those 12 have worked about 2,300 hours total, but one black worker logged 1,310 of those hours. The other 11 averaged 92 hours of work each. When few people of color are trained for the most demanding jobs, those few workers end up getting most of the hours. And that can contribute to the way the project looks to passersby.
The lack of women and people of color in the pipeline for construction jobs is an issue the city is trying to address by partnering with training groups and community organizations. But it will take time. Beyond the recruitment process, pre-apprentice training lasts a year and apprentice training another four, according to Moore.
The result is that the project is doing well on the hours-worked metric the city uses, Moore writes, “even though the worksite itself may not look more diverse at any given moment."
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to conclude---the reason these percentages of injuries are so high for Latino construction workers is they are the most employed on these sites---as in Baltimore-----these figures simply show the dismantlement of all OSHA and US safety standards on global corporate campus construction sites. If US construction workers filled these sites those Latino injuries would be US construction worker injuries ---and yes, these US workers would get no worker's comp----they would simply be sent packing.
THIS IS WHAT US CITIES DEEMED FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONES LOOK LIKE AND THIS IS WHAT GLOBAL CORPORATE CAMPUS CONSTRUCTION WILL CONTINUE TO BE---ONLY SUPER-SIZED.
Safety Lapses and
Deaths Amid a Building
Boom in New York
An increase in fatalities and injuries has mostly affected undocumented
immigrant laborers and far exceeds the rate of new construction.
By DAVID W. CHENNOV. 26, 2015
Manuel Colorado, a 36-year-old construction worker, was installing decking last year at a new building in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, when he lost his balance and fell 19 feet to his death.
A few weeks later, a guest at the Dream Hotel in Midtown Manhattan heard someone screaming outside. Gurmeet Singh, a 58-year-old Indian immigrant doing facade work on the building, had tumbled eight stories off a scaffold and landed atop a sidewalk shed.
Twelve days after Mr. Singh’s death, Lukasz Stolarski, 33, plummeted 110 feet from the roof of an office building in Midtown where he had been attaching plywood to the parapet ledge.
New York City is experiencing a building boom that has transformed barren blocks and led to a frenzy of construction on commercial and residential buildings across all five boroughs. But that activity has come at a sobering cost: In the last two years, the number of workers hurt and killed in construction accidents has surged.
A review of every construction fatality in the past two years by The New York Times has found that many could have been, as a federal investigation into one accident put it, “completely avoidable.” Time and again, in thousands of pages of safety reports, handwritten notes, crude drawings, lawsuits and other documents, as well as interviews with the workers’ relatives and friends, the same issues emerged.
Most construction sites where workers died failed to take basic steps to prevent them from falling. Workers frequently did not wear harnesses or helmets, as required by law. Supervision was often lacking. In many of the projects, a premium was placed on speed, causing workers to take dangerous shortcuts.
About a quarter of the deaths took place in Midtown, attracting a vast majority of news media attention for such accidents. But the rest occurred, largely unnoticed, all over the city. They usually involved smaller projects, using nonunion workers, who were often poorly trained. Often the contractors had been previously cited for safety violations and failed to pay penalties.
Seven workers have died on the job since July, including three in a nine-day stretch before Labor Day, according to records of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.
The city’s Buildings Department keeps its own count of construction deaths, injuries and accidents, offering a broader look at safety year over year. There were 10 construction-related fatalities in the most recent fiscal year, from July 2014 to July 2015, according to city figures. In contrast, the annual average over the previous four years was 5.5.
Two Years of Fatalities
Locations in New York where workers have died in construction-related accidents from Nov. 2013 through Oct. 2015, according to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the city’s Department of Buildings.
The Department of Buildings and OSHA have different definitions of construction-related deaths, so their fatality totals differ. This map combines deaths recorded by both agencies.
By The New York Times
Meanwhile, 324 workers were injured in the last fiscal year, a jump of 53 percent, and the Buildings Department recorded 314 accidents over all, an increase of 52 percent from the year before. The total was more than two and a half times what the city tallied in 2011. In comparison, permits for new construction projects grew by only 11 percent in the last fiscal year and permits for renovation and other work by 6 percent.
“There is absolutely no doubt that there is a real problem with construction safety,” said Mark G. Peters, the commissioner of the city’s Investigation Department, which looks into construction fatalities.
An improving economy and low interest rates helped fuel the current building boom, but there are signs that more is to come. Mayor Bill de Blasio is embracing vertical construction to help make housing more affordable. And uncertainty over the future of a lucrative tax abatement program for developers caused many to rush to file new construction permits this year.
The deaths make clear that the city is being built, or in some cases rebuilt, heavily on the backs of recent immigrants, particularly from Latin America, most of them not authorized to work in this country.
Immigrants, of course, have long dominated the construction trade, from the Irish in earlier generations to Eastern Europeans more recently. But among those who have died over the past two years, many were especially vulnerable because of their legal status. They were frequently poorly trained, paid in cash and afraid of speaking up about unsafe conditions, according to records and interviews with friends and relatives. Having largely existed on society’s margins, in death, there was often little to mark that they ever lived.
PhotoRajwinder Kaur of South Ozone Park, Queens, with a family album. Her father, Gurmeet Singh, was killed in a fall from construction scaffolding at the Dream Hotel in Midtown in 2014. She said she and her husband were never contacted by the construction company.
Credit Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times
Such was the story with Mr. Colorado, who arrived from Veracruz, Mexico, about 15 years ago, and is survived by his girlfriend, Haydee Vazquez, and their two sons.
Mr. Colorado’s shoulders chronically ached from lifting heavy wooden beams, Ms. Vazquez said, but he felt that he needed to keep working, or some other worker would just take his place. After his fatal fall in March 2014, she was unable to learn anything more about the accident from his former employer.
“I still don’t know what happened,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes, in an interview at her apartment in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “I don’t know if he had any last words.”
Gurmeet Singh came to America on a tourist visa about 13 years ago from a farming village near Kapurthala, in the Punjab region of northern India. He did not return home until his body was shipped back in April 2014.
Mr. Singh, a former soldier in the Indian Army, found brick-pointing and other construction work in New York. For a time, he shared an apartment in Richmond Hill, Queens, with a rotating cast of three or four men, usually fellow Sikhs. He eventually began sending money back to his family in monthly installments of around $2,000, according to receipts provided by relatives.
Two sons later came to the United States and roomed with him briefly; both are now in Kentucky, one working at a gas station and the other at a restaurant, said a daughter, Rajwinder Kaur, who now lives in South Ozone Park, Queens. Before his death, Mr. Singh told relatives in India that he hoped to return soon. But he decided to stay for one more job: the Dream Hotel on West 55th Street.
“The boss said: ‘Can you just finish this job? I’ll give you $10,000 and a free ticket to India,’” his other daughter, Palwinder Kaur, said in a telephone interview from India.
That boss, Mr. Singh’s family said, was Adalat Khan, a Pakistani-American businessman and fellow Punjabi speaker. Mr. Singh considered Mr. Khan a friend, having long worked for him, Mr. Singh’s family said. But Mr. Khan told investigators after the Dream Hotel accident: “I do not know the name of the deceased.”
Mr. Khan was a subcontractor for a Queens firm, Alpha General Contracting. And though he said he had been in business for five or six years, he admitted to investigators that he did not know much about construction.
“I have no education for reading drawings,” he said, according to interview notes by safety administration investigators released under a federal Freedom of Information Act request.
The rise in deaths and injuries on New York City construction projects — mostly among undocumented immigrant laborers — far exceeds the rate of new construction in the last two years.
Credit Ashley Gilbertson for The New York Times
Medical issues also limited Mr. Khan. “I do not work on the scaffold myself because I have a stent,” he said. “I did no inspections on site.”
The safety administration concluded that Mr. Khan ordered the employees “to remove planks” and modify the scaffolding in order to “finish the job” quickly. No guardrails were installed, and Mr. Singh, who was a sturdy 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, had to climb a makeshift array of frames and cross-braces to get to workers’ platforms some 140 feet off the ground. But those platforms did not reach the wall, the agency found. As a result, Mr. Singh had two options to get the work done: lean over a gap and stretch several feet to reach the wall, or step on a thin, monkey-bar-like piece of metal.
After Mr. Singh fell, the other workers fled, according to records.
Mr. Singh was not wearing a harness, as required, investigators found. He also had a fake government safety card certifying he had completed mandatory safety training. The card listed the name of a trainer who had died several years earlier, according to people briefed on the investigation.
The agency later concluded that the scaffold had been “altered by untrained employees that were not supervised by a competent person.” It imposed a $42,000 fine against Mr. Khan’s company, Pak National Gen. Corporation
In February, Mr. Singh’s family filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Queens, alleging negligence. Mr. Singh had also not been paid in three months, his daughters said.
Dangerous Condition Complaints
Source: Selection of "Code 91" reports from NYC DOB“In this type of business, time is money, and there is only one way to be more profitable, and that is to cut corners on safety,” said Pat James Crispi, the lawyer for Mr. Singh’s family.
Mr. Khan did not return calls or answer text messages, and the residents of the Brooklyn apartment listed as Pak National Gen.’s headquarters said no one by that name had ever lived there. A lawyer for the company, Kamilla Mishiyeva, declined to answer written questions, saying litigation was still pending.
Mr. Khan has forged ahead in the construction business since Mr. Singh’s death. Four months after the accident, another of Mr. Khan’s companies, Tower General Construction, was granted a permit to renovate a six-story rent-stabilized building on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
While the Dream Hotel accident attracted a fair amount of news coverage, most of the workers died the way they lived: anonymously.
There was Jorge Juca, 29, an Ecuadorean immigrant, who fell last year from a ladder while doing demolition and renovation work at a supermarket in the Bronx. Federal investigators concluded that his employer, R.S. Ecua Contracting, “wanted job done fast” and “grabbed” as many “off the books” workers as possible, even though the laborers were “not provided with general safety training.”
Claudio Patiño at a construction site. He was killed on a job at 124 Ridge Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan last December after telling his wife it was dangerously slippery.
Several months later, another Ecuadorean, Francisco Quizhpi Quizhpi, 40, was installing siding on a house in Far Rockaway, Queens, when he plunged more than 14 feet and died. There were no guardrails and no supervision on site, according to federal records.
Many of the accidents were set against the backdrop of neighborhoods that have undergone rapid gentrification, where construction has been ubiquitous.
At 124 Ridge Street on the Lower East Side last December, workers were remodeling a pair of connected five-story walk-up buildings when Claudio Patiño, 32, fell through an opening to the floor below. His widow, Lourdes Gordillo, said her husband had been scared that the site was getting too slippery as winter approached but felt pressured to keep working.
“He told me it was all wrong, that any moment something could go wrong,” she said in an interview in a three-bedroom apartment in Corona, Queens, which she and her children share with two roommates. “He told me, ‘It’s a miracle we’re alive.’”
The owner of the Ridge Street buildings, Croman Real Estate, had been moving out longtime, rent-stabilized tenants to make way for ones willing to pay much more. (The company is now being investigated by Eric T. Schneiderman, the state attorney general, on allegations of improperly evicting tenants at its properties.)
Croman had long worked with the building contractor, Casur Management & Maintenance, from Long Island, even though it had a spotty safety record. In August 2014, OSHA fined Casur $2,400 for “no guardrail around opening” at 124 Ridge and warned that a “person could fall.”
Four months later, Mr. Patiño did.
Casur, which declined to comment, delayed reporting the episode for 48 hours, violating an OSHA rule that all fatalities be reported within eight hours.
The company agreed in late June to pay $9,750 in federal fines related to the accident. But just one week earlier, the company was cited by the Buildings Department for leaving a worker in an eight-foot-deep trench, without adequate protection, at the Ridge Street site. Two months later, at another renovation project just three blocks away, on Suffolk Street, Casur was fined again by the city for unsafe conditions.
The pattern is a familiar one. Five of seven fatalities since July — including the latest on Oct. 30, at a new boutique hotel in Midtown — have involved contractors or subcontractors that had been fined by the safety administration on previous projects. Those fines totaled only about $60,000, essentially a slap on the wrist, according to advocates for workers.
“Given the limited number of OSHA inspectors and low fines for violators, many employers do not take OSHA violations seriously,” said a recent report from the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, a nonprofit advocacy group with union ties.
PhotoLourdes Gordillo lost her husband, Claudio Patiño, in a construction accident last year. She is now raising her two children, Anthony Patiño, 9, and Adely Patiño, 4, alone.
Credit Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
Another company with a long history of safety problems was Adar Steel of Brooklyn.
In 2012 and 2013, the safety administration fined Adar for violations at two work sites in Far Rockaway, Queens, and Midwood, Brooklyn, for failing to provide basic protections, such as ladders or safety nets. Workers with no training were also used. But the company ignored almost $20,000 in fines, causing regulators to issue a debt collection notice.
On March 6, 2014, disaster struck at another Adar project, at 105 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg. Manuel Colorado was passing some corrugated metal to a co-worker three stories above the ground, according to federal records, when he jumped from an I-beam to some scaffolding and fell two stories. Several workers, including Mr. Colorado, were not wearing harnesses, inspectors later found. They also discovered three beer cans at the site, though employees told investigators Mr. Colorado had not been drinking.
Adar, which federal regulators penalized $53,200, promised to provide extension ladders and remove the unsafe scaffolding. But the company did not pay, and the safety administration placed the company on its “severe violators” watch list.
Even so, Adar continued to work. The next month, a safety inspector who was making random checks noticed an “imminent danger condition” at a site in Harlem that lacked guardrails, safety nets or other protection. The company was fined another $11,800, which it again did not pay.
In September 2014, the company was hit with a $2,400 fine — this time by the Buildings Department — for safety failures while demolishing a two-story house at a site in Kensington, Brooklyn.
A federal safety investigator wrote about the death of Lukasz Stolarski in Manhattan on April 14, 2014, and how construction workers sometimes failed to wear helmets or harnesses. Mr. Stolarski fell 110 feet.
The next month, the New York State Workers Compensation Board canceled the company’s insurance policy for nonpayment, records show.
Despite all of this, Adar Steel’s owner, Daniel Adar, has “no disciplinary history” with the Buildings Department, a spokesman said, and is therefore not barred from construction work.
In a statement, the department pointed out that another company had been issued a permit at the Williamsburg project where Mr. Colorado was killed, so the city could not take any action against Adar. But the department pledged that “in direct recognition of the recent increases in worker injuries,” it would “work with OSHA to proactively share information about bad actors to enhance both agencies’ enforcement strategies.”
Mr. Adar referred questions to his brother-in-law, Alad Danino. In response to written questions, he said: “We are working out payment plans for any open violations as we are a small company. I wish I can be more helpful but at this point that’s all I could tell you.”
Regulators OverwhelmedThe sheer volume of construction activity in the city makes regulating it challenging.
The Buildings Department breaks down complaints it receives into dozens of categories. Code 91 means “site conditions endangering workers.”
New York firefighters treated a victim pulled from a partly collapsed building on West 38th Street in Manhattan on Oct. 30. The collapse killed one person.
Credit Brendan McDermid/Reuters
So far in 2015, the number of Code 91 complaints stands at more than 2,000, which represents about 6 percent of all construction-related complaints the department has received. In 2005, the comparable figure for dangerous conditions complaints was 682, or less than 2 percent of the total.
According to The Times’s analysis of that data, the property with the most complaints for dangerous working conditions, by far, is a luxury project being erected at 252 East 57th Street, at the corner of Second Avenue.
Since January 2014, there have been more than 40 complaints at the location. In one case, an employee told the department: “I was working on a construction site yesterday. Two people were injured. They were advised NOT to call E.M.S.”
But there have been no fatalities, and the project is proceeding in earnest.
The de Blasio administration, concerned about safety, plans to hire about 100 additional building inspectors, and is investing in better data tools to identify and remove troublesome contractors. It has also unveiled a new code of conduct for the construction industry.
But the Buildings Department and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development have historically been plagued by corruption. The most recent high-profile scheme snared nearly four dozen people, including building and housing employees and construction workers, for voiding building code violations and tenant complaints for as little as a few hundred dollars.
At the federal level, the safety administration has just 33 inspectors covering the city and 66 inspectors in the entire state — the agency’s lowest numbers in at least five years.
There have been attempts in the past to improve worker safety, but that often simply gave rise to new methods of thwarting regulators. After a spate of crane and scaffolding accidents in 2007 and 2008, the city required workers to obtain photo identification cards testifying to the completion of safety courses approved by the safety administration. But most workers must pay the $300 fee themselves and take time off, usually two days, for training.
As a result, fraudulent cards have proliferated, investigators say; the going rate is now $25 to $80. Mr. Colorado had a fake card, OSHA records show.
As a deterrent, the city’s Investigation Department has conducted random inspections of the cards on construction sites since 2012. This year, more than 20 people have been arrested. During a sweep in early October in northern Manhattan, witnessed by The Times, investigators inspected the OSHA cards of 74 workers. Three fake cards were confiscated, while 10 other workers lacked documentation.
In an unusual move, because criminal liability is often hard to prove in construction accidents, the Manhattan district attorney’s office filed manslaughter and other charges in August against two construction managers and the companies for whom they worked in the death of Carlos Moncayo. Mr. Moncayo, a 22-year-old from Ecuador, was crushed in April at a construction site in the meatpacking district where the former restaurant Pastis will give way to a Restoration Hardware store.
Private inspectors had repeatedly warned the company of treacherous conditions, only to be ignored, prosecutors said.
The accident prompted the Buildings Department to post a new warning, reminding inspectors to call either 911 or the agency’s emergency hotline immediately — not the company — if they noticed any “uncorrected hazardous conditions.”
“Why didn’t we do it this way five years ago?” Mr. Peters, of the Investigation Department, said at a news conference. “Honestly we should have. We didn’t.”
_____________________________________________WE THE PEOPLE are not going to forget being out on the streets of East Baltimore Development Hopkins global corporate campus protesting BECAUSE THEY REFUSED TO HIRE those from Baltimore having been through one construction job training program after another---this was just a few years ago!
'A YouTube video of the Mar. 29 demonstration near Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore shows Threatt prone on the street, with officers kneeling on his back and neck and other officers repeatedly spraying Mace, point-blank, in his face. At one point, an officer grabs Threatt’s hair and yanks his head back before the Mace is sprayed in his eyes'.
Neighborhoodsby Fern Shen8:16 pmJun 6, 20120Arrested EBDI protester will get jury trialThreatt and two co-defendants appeared in Baltimore City District Court today
Above: Thomas Threatt and his attorney, Arthur Frank, heading in to Baltimore City District Court today.
The jobs protester whose April arrest by Baltimore police was caught on videotape appeared in Baltimore City District Court today, where a judge granted his request for a jury trial.
Thomas Threatt – who is facing multiple charges including resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, loitering and disturbing the peace – was given a June 26 trial date in Baltimore City Circuit Court by Judge Gregory Sampson.
“I’m not pleading guilty, I didn’t do nothing wrong,” Threatt said, outside the courthouse, as about a dozen supporters picketed the courthouse calling the police action against Threatt “abusive.”
A YouTube video of the Mar. 29 demonstration near Johns Hopkins Hospital in East Baltimore shows Threatt prone on the street, with officers kneeling on his back and neck and other officers repeatedly spraying Mace, point-blank, in his face. At one point, an officer grabs Threatt’s hair and yanks his head back before the Mace is sprayed in his eyes.
Two of the three other people arrested that day – William Simmons and Richie Armstrong, an organizer for Community Churches United – also appeared in District Court today. Their cases were postponed until July 30.
The fourth defendant, Earl King, failed to appear in court when his name was called.
Protesters called for charges to be dropped, saying police arresting Threatt were "abusive." (Photo by Fern Shen)
Threatt’s attorney, Arthur M. Frank, said his client was the only one of the four charged with resisting arrest, which carries a maximum penalty of three years, making his case eligible to be heard by a jury.
By moving Threatt’s case up to Circuit Court, Frank said, he was hoping it would receive personal attention from City State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein.
“I’m hoping Mr. Bernstein looks at [the video] and dismisses it,” Frank said.
City police officials have said the officers’ handling of the protest – aimed at the entity developing the Hopkins biopark, East Baltimore Development Inc. – was appropriate.
Threatt said today he thought jurors would give him a fairer hearing than a judge because they might be able to identify with him better.
“They’d be regular working people. They would know what it means to work a job to support a family,” he said.
“I Just Fell in with the Fellas”
When he heard about the gathering (organized by Community Churches, an affiliate of Laborers International Union of North America), Threatt recalled, he thought it was a meeting that would possibly lead to a construction job.
“Someone gave me a card about it,” he said, adding that he was surprised to find it was a demonstration and had never been in one before.
“But anything that’s going to make me be able to get an honest job, I figured, I’ll do,” he said. “I just fell in with the fellas.”
He said he had been trying to obey police orders and get onto the sidewalk when a police officer “grabbed me and they started beating me up.”
Threatt, 42, of the 3800 block of Beehler Ave., said he is a construction worker who has not had a regular job in 13 years but has been self-employed.
“I’m trying to get a job but it’s hard – they say they want you to have worked for a company for two or three years,” he said.
“But I know how to shovel dirt and I know how to break concrete.”
Jobs for Locals
The April demonstration was one of several held at EBDI by Armstrong’s group, which has been saying that the project has broken its promises to create jobs and other benefits for local residents.
As part of the decade-old, $1.8 billion project, whole city blocks around Hopkins have been leveled and more than 700 families have been relocated. One office building and several apartment buildings have been completed.
The April demonstration took place outside a $170 million laboratory being built for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
Last week a coalition of state and city elected officials held a demonstration of their own outside the EBDI offices and called for a halt to the project until more local residents could be hired.
According to a report of the news conference in the Baltimore Sun, State Del. Talmadge Branch cited an analysis of hiring for the state’s lab project that showed that “of the $57.5 million in contracts awarded so far, only $13.4 million went to businesses in Baltimore and only $4.4 million to local minority-owned businesses.”
Mikluski like all Maryland and especially Baltimore pols are simply global Wall Street players---far-right wing CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA EXTREME WEALTH AND EXTREME POVERTY POLS. She is tops in bringing revenue and policies home to Baltimore that created this global corporate campus called BLOOMBERG UNIVERSITY---and she is the face of Wall Street Baltimore Development and its MASTER PLAN AS FOREIGN ECONOMIC ZONE. And yes, she did all this far-right Republican economic policy runni...ng as a DEMOCRAT with media calling her LEFT SOCIAL PROGRESSIVE.
Baltimore has been that Foreign Economic Zone for these few decades not enforcing any Federal laws--any US Constitutional laws----and it is filled with the most injustice, corporate/Wall Street fraud and government corruption because of these Maryland Congressional pols---team global 1% and their 2%.
The problem for unions in Maryland especially trade unions is they TRADE OFF THEIR PROSPECTS BY SUPPORTING THESE SAME GLOBAL WALL STREET CANDIDATES---every election. It is vital our local labor union members stop fighting simply to save ORGANIZING RIGHTS-----be that local union CO-OP BUSINESS.
'A coalition of trade unions is publicly shaming Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski for helping insert a provision into the end-of-year spending bill that massively expanded a guest worker program, which invites a flood of cheap, low-skilled labor from abroad that critics say will drive down wages and take jobs from Americans'.
Barbara Mikulski’s guest worker program steals jobs, wages from Americans, unions say
By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times - Sunday, January 10, 2016 A coalition of trade unions is publicly shaming Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski for helping insert a provision into the end-of-year spending bill that massively expanded a guest worker program, which invites a flood of cheap, low-skilled labor from abroad that critics say will drive down wages and take jobs from Americans.
Union officials said Ms. Mikulski, Maryland Democrat and vice chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, betrayed her union allies and working-class Americans by championing a move that potentially quadruples the number of nonagricultural guest workers allowed into the country though the H-2B visa program this year.
The bill would not raise the cap of 66,000 H-2B visas per year, but it would exclude any foreign worker who received one in the past three years. This would allow employers to hire new and returning H-2B workers, raising the number of eligible foreign workers to about 264,000 this year.
“To be blunt, Senator, your actions will induce a race to the bottom on wages and benefits for U.S. workers in impacted industries, including building and construction, and will directly and negatively affect our collective membership,” North America’s Building Trades Unions, a coalition of construction industry unions, said in an open letter to Ms. Mikulski.
The letter, published Sunday in The Baltimore Sun, was signed by the presidents of a dozen labor unions, including bricklayers, plumbers, ironworkers, roofers and the Teamsters.
“We suppose you would like to look the men and women of our unions in the eye, as well as the eyes of non-union construction workers, and tell them that you believe that they no longer need prevailing wage protections, and that they and their responsible employers should compete against ‘low-road’ construction contractors who can assemble a low-wage and easily exploitable and expendable workforce, with no formal assessment, because that is what you have accomplished,” they wrote.