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Workforce triumphs over terror

LaborPress reports WTC Developer Salutes Union Labor for Defying 9/11 Terrorists

Posted on
Jun 24, 2016

This article first appeared in LaborPress, written by Joe Maniscalco

World Trade Center Developer Larry Silverstein on Thursday morning credited New York City’s unionized building trades for rebuilding “what the terrorists unsuccessfully tried to destroy forever” on September 11, 2001. 

“We could not have built this without the men and women of the unionized construction trades,” Silverstein said just before the last bucket of concrete at 3 World Trade Center was hoisted more than 1,000 feet into the air. “Ironworkers, masons, carpenters, laborers, welders — you work every day rain or shine to reclaim our skyline and to rebuild what the terrorists unsuccessfully tried to destroy forever.”

The 80-story building located between Cortland and Dey Streets in Manhattan’s Financial District represents just one component of the overall World Trade Center redevelopment project enacted in the wake of the September 11, terrorist attacks.

Slated to open in the spring of 2018, 3 World Trade Center will boast 2.5 million square feet of rentable office space. At 1,079-foot tall, the skyscraper will utilize 145,000 yards of concrete, 27,000 tons of steel and 10,000 glass panels. Foundation work began in July, 2010.

“Look at these buildings — [union labor] built them all,” Silverstein told LaborPress after he launched the last bucket of concrete into place. “They do a first-class job. And as far as I’m concerned nobody does it better.”

Women and minorities constituted over 30 percent of the 3 World Trade Center’s skilled labor force. The development utilized workers associated with NEW — Nontraditional Employment for Women — the Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills and Helmets to Hardhats. 

Gary LaBarbera, head of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, called 3 World Trade Center’s “topping out” ceremony “one of the proudest days in the history of the unionized building construction trades.”

“It is your skill, your dedication and the quality of the work you do, the manner in which you work with dignity and respect — and most importantly safety — which sets us apart from all others, not only in this city, but in this country,” LaBarbera said. 

Crane operator Freddie Bartz, International Association of Operating Engineers Local 14, slowly began to hoist the building’s last bucket of concrete skyward at about 11:45 a.m. as a knot of workers and project dignitaries huddled around on the ground to watch it rise.

“This is the light of the city,” 54-year-old labor foreman Edward Mangan told LaborPress. “This is definitely the [penultimate] moment of my career. I can retire now.”

LaBarbera also urged elected officials, developers and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to now collaborate on the successful completion of 2 World Trade Center at 200 Greenwich Street — saying that the nearby development not only represents thousands of jobs, but also symbolizes “defiance of the enemies of this country.”

The 80-story, 1,270-Foot tall 2 World Trade Center building is considered the “capstone” in the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site and is still in concept design.

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