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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Press Release Regarding Rally At Max Pac

For Immediate release: December 2, 2010 For more info call: Rand Wilson at (617) 803-0799 (email rand.wilson@gmail.com) or
Tom McIntyre at (617) 650-4246 (tmcintyre@bacweb.org)

Somerville union members; community activists rally for jobs at MaxPac housing site

Somerville, Mass. – As construction begins on the first phase of the 199 unit MaxPac housing development in Somerville, about 80 union members and community organizers rallied on Dec. 2 to win union jobs and a commitment to hire local residents. Photos from the event maybe viewed at: http://picasaweb.google.com/randwilson.aflcio/SomervilleUnionMembersCommunityActivistsRallyForJobsAtMaxPacHousingSite

"With unemployment in Somerville at record highs, we are determined to make sure that when economic development of this scale occurs, it fully benefits our community," said Matt McLaughlin, a leader of the Save Our Somerville community group.

"We've reached out to the project owners, KSS Realty Partners and GFC Development about hiring Somerville residents and using union workers on the project," said union organizer and Somerville resident Rand Wilson. "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," said Alderman at Large Bruce Desmond. "In part, it states: 'The city encourages the Developer to use union labor for the project and to enter into a project labor agreement.' It's a slap in the face to hundreds of unemployed skilled Somerville tradesmen to see people from out of state taking these jobs."

"A Project Labor Agreement is the best way to ensure the developers use well-trained workers earning decent wages and benefits," said Tom McIntyre, an International Rep with the Bricklayers union. "With an 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, we want an agreement that future buildings and grounds maintenance work will also be done by Somerville residents and union labor," said Mike Destefano of Jaques Street in Somerville who is a member of the Area Trades Council.

One time KSS Realty principal Stephen Kennedy Smith who acquired the site, got the permits and the city's commitment for infrastructure improvements – has now relinquished his interest in the deal. (Smith is the son of Jean Kennedy Smith and grandson of Joe, Sr.) His former partner, Ted Tobin (grandson of Governor Maurice Tobin) has formed a new development team with Gate Residential Properties.

GFC Development is owned by Charles Aggouras, a graduate of Suffolk University whose company is based in Weston. GFC's previous Somerville projects include 55 Endicott Ave, 52 Bay State Ave, 456 Medford St., and 97 College Ave.

2 comments:

Teddy S said...

In successive press releases KSS have claimed they are building 184 and 199 units. Well, which is it? How hard is it for them to get this sort of thing right?

Courtney O'Keefe said...

The total number is 199. 15 townhomes are being constructed by GFC, leaving 184 left.