‘Betrayed’ workers to sue Ratner today

As Bruce Ratner courts the Islanders, his Barclays Center continues to rise at the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.
Photo by Tom Callan

A group of unemployed construction workers is suing Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner to recover lost wages for jobs that they claim they were promised but never received at the $5-billion Prospect Heights megaproject.

The workers will announce the federal lawsuit this morning in Fort Greene, steps from the under-construction Barclays Center.

Ratner once boasted that the 22-acre project would create 1,500 jobs per year over a 10-year buildout, but roughly 700 people are currently at work on the arena.

The paltry numbers have prompted disgruntled workers — who backed the project during its approval process five years ago — to rally regularly for jobs.

The 19,000-seat arena will be completed next summer, but the larger 16-tower development is on hold. Ratner has vowed to begin one residential building next year.

A spokesman for the developer was not immediately available for comment on Tuesday night.

Councilwoman Letitia James (D–Fort Greene), a longtime foe of the project, said she sympathized with the workers.

“They were led to believe that they would get a job at Atlantic Yards,” James said. “They feel betrayed.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at dbush@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at twitter.com/dan_bush.

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