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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

KSS Realty Issues Response To Flyer Regarding Max Pac Site.

KSS Realty has issued a press release in response to a flyer distributed regarding jobs at the Max Pac site. Ward 5 Online advertised the rally a couple of days ago.
KSS Realty's Response:

Mr Thomas McIntyre
Regional Representative
Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen

November 30, 2010

Dear Mr. McIntyre:
We regret that you have taken such a strident stand against our proposed apartment community at the MaxPac site.
Your leaflet is incorrect in a number of respects:
• First, Stephen Kennedy Smith, although deeply involved in the community process and design of the project, is no longer involved. Mr. Smith has relinquished his interest and no longer has a financial or legal position in the project. He is not part of the new development team.
• Second, the new development team is comprised of a joint venture between KSS Realty Partners and Gate Residential Properties.
• Third, the only work in progress at KSS Realty’s/Gate Residential Properties’ portion of the MaxPac site involves the removal of an existing foundation. This work is being performed by union represented operating engineers.
• Fourth, we have arranged to meet with the Boston Building Trades Council to discuss union involvement in the construction of the project. Construction is not scheduled to begin until Spring 2011.

KSS Realty & Gate Residential’s general contractor will be soliciting bids from union contractors for the construction of this project, which is comprised of 184 units of low and market rate housing. This project is meant to provide quality housing for the citizens of Somerville. We look forward to working cooperatively with the construction unions and hope they will provide a cost basis that will enable this project to be feasible. We also hope the unions are willing to allow all Somerville residents the opportunity to seek employment on the jobsite.

Very truly yours,
KSS Realty Partners
Gate Residential Properties

The Flyer Reads:

Picket line and rally for Somerville jobs

Steven Kennedy Smith (son of Jean Kennedy Smith and grandson of Joe, Sr.) and Ted Tobin (grandson of Governor Maurice Tobin) are building 199 units of new housing at the old MaxPak factory site (between Lowell and Cedar streets). Union representatives and Somerville residents have reached out to Kennedy and Tobin's company, KSS Realty Partners and GFC Development (which bought a parcel from KSS to develop 15 units) about hiring Somerville residents and using union workers on the project. Despite numerous requests, KSS Realty and GFC have not been receptive to negotiating a Project Labor Agreement or discussing a "Community Workforce Agreement" to ensure that local residents are hired.

When the project went through the city's approval process, a special covenant was reached between the KSS Realty Partners and the City of Somerville. In part, it states: "The city encourages the Developer to use union labor for the project and to enter into a project labor agreement."

A Project Labor Agreement is the best way to ensure the developers use well-trained workers earning decent wages and benefits. With a Project Labor Agreement in place, the developer, general contractor and subcontractors and the eventual homeowners can be assured they will receive quality work.

In addition to assurances that local residents get construction jobs, community organizers want an agreement that future buildings and grounds maintenance work will also be done by Somerville residents and union labor.

Picket line and rally for good jobs NOW!
Thursday, Dec 2
6:00 to 9:00 AM.
56-61 Clyde Street (at the entrance to the MaxPak site)
Somerville, MA
All residents of Somerville and Friends of Labor concerned about the MaxPak development urged to attend!

For more info call Somerville union member Rand Wilson at (617) 803-0799.

1 comment:

Thomas McIntyre said...

Mr. Tobin, I can commit to you and the people of Somerville, that Somerville residents will be employed on the MaxPak project if there is a project labor agreement signed. Were a PLA signed, I can assure you that with the relationship the hundreds of building trades workers of Somerville have with their local unions will make that process simple. My question to you is this. If the project is completed with non-union contractors, how do you suggest those contractors contact the building trade workers in Somerville? A help wanted add? Do you believe that a subcontractor from New Hampshire is really going to place an advertisement for a plumber from Somerville? If industry practice tells us anything, the answer is no. Because the plumber already has his workforce and is not interested in the idea of hiring local people. On the other hand, local unions regularly work with developers and city governments in setting goals as it relates to local hires. Such language is needed, without it; the people of Somerville will be on the outside looking in.
Tommy McIntyre