Local Elected Officials, Labor Leaders Join Teamsters in Rally Against Sony
Media Giant Scrutinized for Using Sub-Standard Labor Despite Millions in Tax Breaks
NEW YORK, NY – Local lawmakers, leaders of the labor community, and advocates joined Teamsters Local 814 today in calling on Sony to hire commercial movers that pay area standard wages and benefits to their workers for their large upcoming move to Eleven Madison Avenue.
Sony, which has received significant tax breaks from New York State and New York City, originally hired a commercial moving company known not to pay its workers fair wages and benefits to perform the sizable move, drawing the ire or elected officials and the organized labor community as a whole. The moving company hired by Sony also has ties to questionable labor organizations that have been scrutinized publicly by elected officials in the past.
Several elected officials have already sent letters to Sony’s headquarters questioning Sony’s hiring decision.
“I urge Sony to hire a commercial mover in New York who has demonstrated best business practices, a strong safety record, and a history of employing unionized workers,” wrote State Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, who represents the district including both Sony’s existing headquarters at 550 Madison and 11 Madison Avenue, in a January 29th letter to Sony.
“I urge you to reconsider Sony’s contract,” wrote State Senator Liz Krueger, who also represents the district encompassing 550 and 11 Madison Avenue, “and instead contract with a mover affiliated with Teamsters Local 814.”
“Every company should respect workers enough to give them fair wages and benefits, particularly if that company is getting state tax breaks,” Senator Krueger said in a separate statement. “Sony simply should not be hiring movers that pay substandard wages. There are many companies in New York City associated with Teamsters Local 814—companies that treat their workers right. I encourage SONY to do the right thing and only work with companies that provide fair compensation for hard working New Yorkers.”
“Sony is sending a message that despite New York taxpayers’ generosity, it has little regard for the hardworking families that live here,” said Jason Ide, President of Teamsters Local 814. “It is high time that Sony commit to doing business only with companies that provide a decent wage and adequate benefits to their workers.”
“All 120,000 Teamsters across Joint Council 16 stand behind New York’s commercial movers,” said Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda. “These workers deserve a living wage and good benefits. We are sending a message to Sony that New York cares how workers are treated in this city. Sony is one of the largest companies in the world and should use a moving company affiliated with Local 814—a company that we know will pay its workers fairly and give them benefits.”
Teamsters Local 814, founded in 1925, recently partnered with Moving Forward, a commercial moving trade association, to raise awareness in the commercial real estate community about “independent unions”, which often represent companies that claim union affiliation but do not pay their workers area standard wages and benefits.
Part of that effort included a support letter signed last year by dozens of local elected officials and labor leaders, stating that any company in need of a commercial mover should “look no further” than companies affiliated with Local 814 and Moving Forward.
Contact: Alex Moore