Representatives of General Building Laborers Local Union 66 have spent the past week protesting at the entrance to Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, alleging that the company hired to lay bricks for one of the new buildings in the Hamptons Business District is not paying its workers prevailing wages.
Union workers are accusing the owners of Ponsolle Brothers Inc. of Miller Place of paying their employees less than prevailing wage, which now stands at $46.44 per hour.
Marc Bloom, president of Ponsolle, denied the allegation when reached last week, stating that his company pays prevailing wages and has paperwork filed with Suffolk County to prove it. He refused to provide a copy of the paperwork with The Press.
Representatives at the Suffolk County Department of Labor and Suffolk County Labor Services office did not immediately return calls and emails requesting a copy of Mr. Bloom’s documents.
The protesters, led by union organizer Darryl Harris, set up two large inflatable rats at the entrance to the airport over three days last week, and again earlier this week. Mr. Harris said he plans to protest at the entrance to the airport every day until Mr. Bloom shows his paperwork or joins the union.
“Either we’re going to flip them to be with us, or he’s going to need to get up out of here,” Mr. Harris said during an interview last week, referring to the contractor.
Mr. Harris said he is still trying to obtain payroll documents to prove that the workers are being paid less than the prevailing wage—an accusation that Mr. Bloom insists is false.
“I follow the law to a T, that I pay correctly,” he said, adding that his workers started at the site at the beginning of last week and have not yet received their first paychecks.
Mr. Bloom’s company was contracted by Rechler Equity, the master developer of the Hamptons Business District. Rechler Equity Director of Development and Construction Andrew Renter issued a prepared statement last week, noting that all workers hired to help construct the nine-building business complex are being paid the prevailing wage.
“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,” the statement reads.
A representative from Rechler declined to comment further and also refused to provide documentation regarding Mr. Bloom’s payroll records.