A representative from the New York State Department of Labor confirmed that Mr. Bloom’s company is paying prevailing wages.
Laborers on the project are making $61.81 per hour, including benefits. Masons at the site are earning $76.89 per hour, including benefits. Both hourly wages are above the prevailing wage of $46.44 per hour.
Despite the protests that continued on Thursday, the president of the paving company hired to do paving work at the Hamptons Business District, as well as representatives from Rechler Equity, the project’s developers, said his firm was, in fact, paying its employees fairly and up to the state standard.
“We are paying prevailing wages and I have the documentation to back that up,” Marc Bloom, president of Ponsolle Brothers Incorporated said on Thursday afternoon. “I follow the law to a T, that I pay correctly.”
Mr. Bloom declined to provide documentation to The Press.
Rechler Equity Director of Development and Construction Andrew Renter also issued an emailed statement, “We have employed both union and non-union contractors for work on this project who are all required to pay prevailing wages to their workers, certified payroll records are submitted monthly to ensure each contractor is in compliance with this requirement and all New York State Department of Labor regulations.”
Several members of the General Building Laborers’ Local 66 union are protesting at the entrance to Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, alleging that the company hired to lay bricks for one of the buildings now under construction in the Hamptons Business District—Ponsolle Brothers Incorporated—is not paying its workers prevailing wages.
The protesters—holding signs that read, “To the public: Ponsoll does not employ members of or have a contract with the General Building Laborers Local Union 66”—gathered near the entrance to the airport at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday and stood next to a giant, inflatable rat. They were also observed blowing whistles to gain attention.
“Either we’re going to flip them to be with us, or he’s going to need to get up out of here,” Darryl Harris, organizer for Local 66, said on Wednesday morning, referring to the contractor.
A representative from Ponsolle Brothers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Representatives of Rechler Equity, the Plainview-based developers behind the Hamptons Business District at Gabreski, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.
Don Grande, a bricklayer business agent for Long Island union workers, said he heard about the problem earlier this week and attempted to speak with the owner of Ponsolle Brothers—but with no success. “We tried to give the contractor a warning,” he said on Wednesday, “but now we will be pursuing legal action.”
Mr. Grande said he is trying to obtain payroll documents to prove that the workers are being paid less than the prevailing wage, which now stands at $46.44 per hour.
Suffolk County officials, who own and oversee the airport, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Mr. Harris said that until Ponsolle Brothers, Inc. joins the union, he will be at the airport’s entrance protesting with more inflatable rats.
“He’s going to join us or he’s going to be out,” he said. “Poverty pay is not the American way.”