Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Hempstead Town Supervisor Laura Gillen on Thursday condemned the town Industrial Development Agency’s decision to award tax breaks to a commercial laundry service in Hempstead Village despite allegations of unfair labor practices.
Curran and Gillen stood with regional labor officials, including Long Island Federation of Labor president John Durso, and more than 50 union workers — some who work for the laundry service and others who work elsewhere locally — outside Hempstead Town Hall to protest the tax breaks for FDR Services Corp.
“I am actually quite bullish on IDAs,” Curran said. “I think they are good tools for real economic development for good-paying jobs. However, our taxpayers should not be asked to invest in companies that disenfranchise their workers.”
The Laundry, Distribution and Food Service Joint Board union has filed complaints with the National Labor Relations Board against FDR, alleging that the company had cut off its workers’ health insurance and fired nine employees out of seniority after they went on strike in February. FDR has disputed the allegations, and six of the nine workers have since been rehired.
The union also accused FDR of inflating its employment figures to get tax incentives from the IDA but the agency’s investigation found them to be accurate. IDA officials have also said they are not charged with looking into labor disputes. The union delivered a letter Thursday to the IDA calling on the agency to terminate the agreement.
IDA attorney John Ryan declined to comment.