New York University has long acknowledged the value and excellence of union labor in construction, and has long been committed to it. The Building and Construction Trades Council recognizes that when the University has a construction project, it requires its contractors to use union labor, and that this has been a longstanding practice. Moreover, the Council acknowledges that the University is a substantial provider of jobs to its members: in 1999 alone, the University put out some $150 million in construction contracts creating some 2,000 jobs, each and every one a union job.

The University understands and shares the distress of the Building and Construction Trades Council over the use of non-union labor in the building of Coral Towers on the site of the former Sahara Hotel. Both the Council and the University have asked the developer, Alex Forkosh, to use union labor, but he has repeatedly declined, much to our joint dissatisfaction. It is the University’s understanding that such union labor is that of the Building and Construction Trades Council.

The University reiterates the policy that it adopted in light of this situation: that it will not in the future, as owner or developer, buy, or enter into leases for, buildings that are being constructed with non-union labor, including those involving Mr. Forkosh or Coral Realty or their affiliates, until they resolve their disputes with unionized labor.

NYU and the Council have long enjoyed a cordial and productive relationship. It is the strong wish and hope of both organizations that this spirit of cooperation continues in the future.

Both parties have agreed to maintain ongoing communications regarding their understandings.

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