Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Teamsters Flex Muscle and Scuttle NYC Mayor's Deal to Rein in Horse Carriages in Central Park; Pedicab Drivers, Also At Risk, Thank Union

Labor News Up To The Minute

by   Samuel Morris               Godwin Morris Laurenzi Bloomfield

50 N. Front St., Memphis TN  38103

901 528 1702    901 949 1144

 

established yesterday - subscriptions good until tomorrow - published as news breaks

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Teamsters Flex Muscle and Scuttle NYC Mayor's Deal to Rein in Horse Carriages in Central Park; Pedicab Drivers, Also At Risk, Thank Union

 

De Blasio vows to rein in horse carriage industry after Teamsters scuttle NYC City Council vote

Inline image 1

BY ERIN DURKIN  

 

Mayor de Blasio waits in his SUV as carriage drivers convened outside City Hall on Thursday.ANTHONY DELMUNDO / NY DAILY NEWS

Mayor de Blasio waits in his SUV as carriage drivers convened outside City Hall on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mayor de Blasio doesn't know when to stop beating a dead horse.

His deal to rein in the horse carriages collapsed Thursday a day before the City Council was to vote on it -- but the mayor said he will keep trying to downsize the industry.

The bill to cap the carriages at 75 and move them to Central Park died after the Teamsters union abruptly withdrew its support. The Council canceled a vote planned for Friday -- dealing a blow to the mayor, who has championed the issue for years.

MAYOR, MONEY AND MANIA

Hizzoner pulled into City Hall about two hours after the Teamster's early morning announcement to find about 50 carriage drivers -- who had planned a protest -- standing along the front steps for what turned out to be a celebration.

Instead of climbing out of his SUV and walking past them, the mayor huddled in his car with aides for roughly 16 minutes -- in full view of the public and waiting media.

When he finally exited, he had only a few brief words for reporters.

MAYOR DE BLASIO TOUTS TROLLEY PLAN IN STATE OF THE CITY ADDRESS

Mayor de Blasio said he will continue his efforts to downsize the horse carriage industry, despite his latest effort falling through before the City Council could vote on it.ANTHONY DELMUNDO / NY DAILY NEWS

Mayor de Blasio said he will continue his efforts to downsize the horse carriage industry, despite his latest effort falling through before the City Council could vote on it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I'm obviously disappointed that the vote won't happen," said the mayor.

"You all know my views on this issue," he added. "We're going to find a way forward."

Despite de Blasio's vow to press on with his campaign promise to ban carriage horses, City Council members said there was no appetite to revive the issue and expected no action any time soon.

The mayor blasted the Teamsters for their change of heart.

"We had a good faith agreement with them that was worked on for many weeks. And they didn't keep to their agreement. It's as simple as that," he said.

PEDICAB DRIVERS WILL BE JOBLESS UNDER DE BLASIO'S PROPOSAL

Press secretary Karen Hinton said de Blasio's delay in his car was because staff "wanted to brief him before he took questions from media. That was my decision, not his."

Mayor de Blasio talks to the media as carriage drivers are gathered outside City Hall on Thursday.ANTHONY DELMUNDO / NY DAILY NEWS

Mayor de Blasio talks to the media as carriage drivers are gathered outside City Hall on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Teamsters had agreed in concept to a deal that cut the number of working horses from 200 to 75, and stabled them in Central Park. But a backlash grew from drivers who thought they'd be out of business before a park facility was ever built.

Others objected to the projected $25 million or higher cost to taxpayers for the stable, the use of public land for a private business, and provisions in the bill that would ban pedicabs from much of the park.

"With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry. We cannot support the horse carriage bill currently before the City Council," said Teamsters Joint Council 16 president George Miranda on Thursday morning, in a declaration that quickly killed the bill. Members were informed in calls from the speaker's office that the vote would not happen.

Many City Council members disliked the agreement, which had little public support. The Daily News led a hugely successful "Save Our Horses" campaign that gathered thousands of signatures of supporters.

But the lawmakers had expected to vote yes anyway on a bill important to de Blasio in hopes of putting the issue to rest as long as the politically powerful Teamsters remained on board.

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said the legislation "was contingent on an agreement between the administration, the Teamsters and the City Council. The Council will not vote on any horse carriage related legislation on Friday since the Teamsters no longer support the deal."

Before the Teamsters pulled out, de Blasio had played hardball to wrangle votes -- making personal calls to members that one called "very intense" and another said were "tough . . . very rough."

NYC PAPERS OUT. Social media use restricted to low res file max 184 x 128 pixels and 72 dpiLUIZ C. RIBEIRO/FOR THE NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

No vote will take place on the bill that would have cut the number of horses to 75 and moved them to a stable in Central Park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The mayor's office said he had lined up more than 30 votes before the collapse.

Steve Nislick, the wealthy founder of anti-carriage group NYCLASS, also called several members and made "very aggressive statements" urging them to get on board.

Relieved pols hoped the defeat of the latest deal -- which was hatched after de Blasio acknowledged he did not have the votes for an outright industry ban -- would spell the end of a politically thorny issue.

"It is time to move on and to tackle all of the other issues that the people of the city of New York want us to tackle," said Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Queens). "I think that's both the right thing to do and the smart thing politically."

A sticking point that ultimately caused the union to withdraw was a provision that would have reduced the number of horses to 110 by this December, while the stable would not be ready until at least 2018. Negotiations continued late into Wednesday night.

Drivers were breathing a sigh of relief Thursday.

"Tomorrow, instead of being here biting our nails about the future of our industry, we can all go to Central Park and drive our horses," said driver Christina Hansen.

"With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry," said Teamsters Joint Council 16 president George Miranda.

"With the legislation now finalized, our members are not confident that it provides a viable future for their industry," said Teamsters Joint Council 16 president George Miranda.

"It wasn't good for the horses. It wasn't good for the business. It was going to put us out of business before we could ever build a stable. . . That just simply was a deal breaker," she said. "We've been a political football for 30 years. We'd really just like to be left alone."

Cornelius Byrne, who owns a stable on W. 37th St., was overjoyed by the outcome.

"It would have been a slow death, all the way. Right was on our side," he said.

But NYCLASS angrily bashed the defeat of the deal and blamed Mark-Viverito -- not the mayor.

"The speaker's decision to continue to place carriage horses in harm's way is outrageous and wrong. Let's be clear about what this cold-hearted delay means -- horses will continue their miserable nose-to-tailpipe existence, horses will continue to be hit and killed by city traffic, horses will continue to work until they are the equivalent of 80 years old, and horses will continue to be sold to slaughter," said Nislick in a joint statement with co-founder Wendy Neu.

"We have a sensible plan to protect the horses, and it deserves a vote. But instead the speaker is allowing the Teamsters to call the shots and allow the horses to suffer. NYCLASS and our members will never stop fighting."

Pedicab drivers, who would have been banned from the park below 85th St. were also among the victors Thursday.

"I fled civil war to come to this country to earn a living in this city," said Ibrahim Barrie, 28, who came to New York from Sierre Leone. "But this bill was written to destroy us."

"I work every day, rain or snow," said the pedicab driver outside Central Park. "This bill would have pushed us to where there are no pedicabs. There would have been no money, no living."

With Jennifer FerminoKerry Burke


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

-----all the labor news that's not fit to print anywhere else----

To sign up contact smorris@union-law.com

 

50 N. Front St., Memphis TN  38103

901 528 1702    901 949 1144

 

established yesterday - subscriptions good until tomorrow - published as news breaks

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact Our Law Offices

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Address

Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.
50 North Front Street
Suite 800
Memphis, TN 38103

Toll Free: 888-508-7939
Phone: 901-236-0578
Fax: 901-528-0246
Memphis Law Office Map

Phone