‘Betrayed’ workers to sue Ratner today

Ice try! Ratner now says he wants Islanders at Barclays Center
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.

More from Around New York