March 27, 2012
By Ray Parker, Staff Writer
Monday, March 26 — About 300 ironworkers and other building trades members briefly blocked traffic at noontime outside of New York’s busiest hotel construction site. 54th Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue is a hive of activity, with a Hilton Hotel going up on the eastern end, a Courtyard and Residence by Marriott, and a 1 million square foot office tower being erected by Boston Properties at 250 West 55th Street. But some of the demo work has been given to non-Union contractors, something that has tradesmen angry.
A line of angry motorists waited while workers chanted, “No Union, No Hilton,” “No Union, No Peace,” “Scabs Go Home,” and “Every Day,” as police negotiated with ironworkers to let cars through. After about 15 minutes traffic began to flow again. One worker who didn’t want to give his name denied that any coordination of the protest had taken place. “I’m just an ordinary construction worker,” he said. “We’re here expressing our first amendment rights.”