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Workers Rip NYU at Rally For Using Nonunion Labor

Daily News Staff Writer        

Angered over a New York University dormitory that is being built with nonunion labor, more than 12,000 union construction workers rallied in Greenwich Village yesterday.

It was the largest construction-worker demonstration since a June 1998 protest that drew more than 40,000 to midtown, snarling traffic and leading to 38 arrests.

Police said there were no incidents at yesterday's rally, which came a day after a peaceful march on the upper East Side by thousands of union building service workers.

The lunch-hour construction workers' rally began at 14th St. and Third Ave., where a nonunion contractor, Forkosh Construction, is putting up a building that will be leased by NYU as student housing.

Accompanied by a bagpipe band, workers marched south to Washington Square Park, where Building and Construction Trades leader Ed Malloy condemned the nonunion project.

"NYU's role is the most frustrating," said Malloy. "They teach unionism and worker safety, and they hire a nonunion builder."

NYU spokesman John Beckman said the university "is being used as a political football."

"When NYU develops its own properties, it always requires its contractors to use union labor," said Beckman.

A spokesman for builder Alex Forkosh said the subject of using union labor "never came up" in talks with NYU about the site.

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