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Unions and the CityNegotiating Urban Change$
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Ian Thomas MacDonald

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501706547

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501706547.001.0001

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Building a Green New York

Building a Green New York

Construction Unions and Community Alliances

(p.125) 5 Building a Green New York
Unions and the City

Maria Figueroa

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses two energy retrofit initiatives: the city- and real estate-led PlaNYC policy for retrofitting Manhattan's commercial office space, and the Laborers (LIUNA)-sponsored Green Jobs/Green New York weatherization initiative covering residential property in the city and the state. In the highly competitive and mostly nonunion residential property sector, a familiar tension between affordability for working-class consumers and union concerns with labor standards emerged as the federal stimulus funds used to finance retrofitting work were scaled back. Despite the enormous potential of a green jobs strategy to address employment disparities, revive neighborhoods without gentrification, and launch economic recovery while mitigating ecological damage, labor's vision of a sustainable city seemingly cannot prevail when it confronts the entrenched power of real estate and finance in the global city.

Keywords:   energy retrofit initiatives, PlaNYC policy, green jobs strategy, residential property, working-class consumers, labor standards, retrofitting, employment, sustainable city, real estate

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