Walter Reed Project Breaks Promises to Hire Locally

Michael Jackson of GABIDDC wrote an email Letter addressed to Council Member Elissa Silverman, on how the Walter Reed Project is breaking its promises to hire and train workers locally. In that email he points out that:

“In you efforts to peel the onion in determination of unfair labor, and wages practices related to the hiring of DC residents, please note that all apprenticeship programs should implement training for OSHA and EPA safety compliance standards.”

Circumventing Process

Mike observes that:

“Developers and contractors, who perform”… the “work to bring projects online, are circumventing the process in various ways.”

Apparently:

“The contractor hired by Hines Urban Atlantic, and Trident to perform the demolition contract work at Walter Reed on one 2.5 million square foot hospital building has informed me they are not in need of any DC workers.”

Essentially they told Mike that they don’t intend to hire locally, train people and who even knows if they intend to protect their safety when removing hazardous materially:

Safety and Hire-Local Covenants

Instead of hiring anyone Locally:

“The work started July 10th, 2017. NorthStar, is bringing in 400 people to form their own workforce from the Mid-Atlantic surrounding states, instead of abiding by the covenants sign in the disposition agreement with the ” Developer of Record”, for the government of the District of Columbia.

Why Requirements Apply

Mike Explains that the reason is that:

“Federal and District of Columbia  regulations require contractors to implement safety standards as part of their scope of work.”

Therefore because:

“More than a certain percentage of existing building space is presently” “deem[ed] to have environmental issues”

therefore workers in those spaces should be trained in, provided and use, proper gear per OSHA requirements that apply to all projects in DC. Further:

“The community benefits package of the disposition agreements stated by the developer and Mayor communicated to the community, that 51% of the workforce would come from the District of Columbia. This mandate requires training.”

Therefore they are breaking their agreement by making no effort to hire locally.

Circumventing Promises

 

“NorthStar’s estimate of the number of workers required to perform the scope of work and applications are 400.”

Which means that the District of Columbia is:

“losing jobs, and taxable dollars for 201 workers, [who] could be trained and employed.”

DCRA and DOEE did not address this issue before permitting work. Therefore:

“A formal estimate of the environmental scopes of work…is unkown”

And:

NorthStar for example, the demolition contractor chosen by the Walter Reed developer, has not disclosed” these things, and “Neither did the contractor who installed the
new water line across campus from Georgia Ave to 16th Street NW.”

As a result while we know:

“810 truckloads of hazardous material will be generated from the process of demolition.”
“15,000 truckloads of recycled concrete will be removed after the demolition process”
Only 1 person out of 20 applicants was hired through GAIBIDDC.org efforts to generate worker for the 3,225 linear feet of 12 inch pipe line that is currently being installed at Walter Reed.

Disregarding DC law

Mike has not let this pass:

“In response to this a meeting with the Office of the Attorney General [occured July 27th 2017] for the purpose of deriving the facts and resulting outcomes that can be achieved to generate some jobs. This case is similar in format to Power Design, in that this is a blatant disregards to fairly employ citizens promised job opportunities. The actions of both the developer and contractor [display blatant] disrespect of the laws of the government of the District of Columbia.”

Need Intercession!

He pleaded for the District government to:

“The community ask[s] for your intercession, similar [to what you did] for the Power Design case with the Office of the Attorney General. We ask[] for a special hearing to resend fines and/or stipulat[ions] on behalf of the community and [for] the government to find solutions to effectively implement the disposition agreement between the District of Columbia, and Hines, Urban Atlantic, Trident “the Developer of Record” for the government of the District of Columbia. if the developer does not agree to implement” the workforce agreement.

GABIDDC And Partner’s Role

GABIDDC, led by Mike Jackson has poured his heart into setting up to implement this agreement. He has worked with a number of DC groups and the District governent. And, he created 5

“courses prepared with curriculum for 7 EPA, and OSHA certifications required, by the code of federal regulations( CFR )”

And Struggled Valiantly to protect the rights of residents and working people in the District of Columbia. He has a vision of, as

“a first step” a “ladder to living wages.” based on a “curriculum [of] individual and apprenticeship classes to assist DC residents looking for work, and for the general public needs to generate permits for environmental issues.”

We need Your Help!

This issue needs the attention of the residents of DC. Once again developers use bait and switch promises and hollow contracts to deceive residents, and they shouldn’t be able to get away with it! We cannot, without working together:

“deliver inclusive development, affordable housing without the help of generating as many jobs as possible.”

And that requires the District have some power over it’s own territory