New York’s building-trades unions are calling an accident at Hudson Yards Aug. 6 the result of shoddy work by nonunion contractors.
The accident occurred shortly after 4 p.m., when a pedestrian walking on the corner of Tenth Avenue and West 33rd Street fell through the pavement into a waist-deep hole. Several fire trucks responded, and firefighters extricated the man. He was taken to Bellevue Hospital in an ambulance with minor injuries to his left leg.
Ironworker Tawona Huff told AM New York that the ground there had been softened after a truck had backed into a fire hydrant on the corner, causing it to spurt water and flood the area. When the man walked by later, she added, “his leg went straight through.”
The truck belonged to Brooklyn Ready Mix, a nonunion concrete contractor on the site at 50 Hudson Yards, according to a spokesperson for the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.
“The unsafe — nonunion — construction work at 50 Hudson has directly resulted in the injury of a bystander who was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Building Trades President Gary LaBarbera said in a statement. “These types of accidents and incidents are bound to happen when developers like Related use low-road contractors that create unsafe working conditions.”
Related, which built the first phase of Hudson Yards using union labor, has insisted on using some nonunion labor for the second phase. It says 50 Hudson Yards, a 985-foot building that will stretch the length of the block on Tenth Avenue between 33rd and 34th streets, “will be New York City’s fourth largest commercial office tower” when it’s completed in 2022.