Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today that he cannot and will not support any agreement on the Kingsbridge Armory redevelopment proposal that does not include a mandatory living wage component for retail workers at the site, and is urging the City Council to defeat the plan when it comes up for a vote on Monday.
“From the first day I got involved in the issue of the redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory, I made it crystal clear that I would not support this project unless it included a guarantee that the employees at the future retail center would be paid a living wage. Though the wage supplement provisions that the Bloomberg administration has put forward represent a major step forward compared to our negotiations six months ago, there is no guarantee. With that said, I will continue to oppose this project, and I urge the members of the City Council to do the same,” said Borough President Diaz.
Though Borough President Diaz will not support any agreement that does not include a mandatory living wage provision, it should be noted that many aspects of the proposed deal would not have been possible without the advocacy of the borough president, community leaders and other Bronx elected officials.
“I am proud of the work that my office did to negotiate a strong community benefits agreement for this project that would offer the best possible benefits for the people of the Bronx. But the current proposals fall short of our stated goals, and I cannot, in good conscience, support this deal. I hope that the City Council will join me in opposition and vote this project down,” said Borough President Diaz.
Borough President Diaz called on the City Council to pass a living wage mandate in the new year for City-subsidized projects, and urged the State Legislature to pass a statewide IDA reform bill. Both pieces of legislation would require projects that receive taxpayer funding to pay employees a living wage.