Atlantic Yards Workers Left Out of 'Living Wage' Bill

As the City Council meets Monday to consider the measure, one outcome is practically guaranteed.

The City Council prepared to vote on legislation Monday requiring some businesses receiving city benefits to lift worker pay.

However, even if enacted, the measure would not cover any of the workers on one of the city's biggest development projects receiving public subsidies: Atlantic Yards.

would mandate minimum pay of $11.50 per hour, or $10 without benefits, for scores of employers receiving public funding with gross revenues over $5 million dollars a year.

Just not for workers at Barclays Center—or any other project at Atlantic Yards.

The exact terms of the bill, released last week, exempted projects like Atlantic Yards that had already received city approval. Another project that has not broke ground, Hudson Yards, is also expected to get a pass from the legislation.

Nonprofits and manufacturers like those based at Brooklyn Navy Yard are also exempt from the wage guidelines.

Though the body is expected to approve the measure, advocates and critics of the bill will be looking at whether or not the Council has the votes to override an expected veto by Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Along with some business groups, Bloomberg has argued that a living wage bill would have the opposite effect—slowing job growth and even increasing layoffs in a city still dealing with double-digit unemployment in many lower-income neighborhoods and public housing projects.

In his weekly radio address on Sunday, Bloomberg did not mention the impending legislation, instead focusing on New York University's just-announced and the expected to be created at Barclays Center.

"While we’re connecting New Yorkers to jobs today, we’re also building a strong foundation for the jobs of tomorrow," Bloomberg said.


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