Six Week Layoff Imposed on Food Workers, Waterless Bar & CMP's
Spooky Routes, Part Two
July 29 -- While the UN preaches about increasing employment
and the dignity of labor, in its headquarters building twenty more
workers, among the lowest income on the campus, are about to be
summarily laid off.
in what remains of the Delegates' Dining Room have this week been
told that they will no be needed, at least between August 6 and
September 20, with the UN General Debate begins.
a series of
interviews with those impacted, it was pointed out to Inner City
Press that the UN's Delegates' Dining Room never went on furlough
before, nor were people laid off “until Ban Ki-moon.” Others
blamed Ban's chief of Management, Angela Kane.
pointed out that the likely excuse will be the Capital Master Plan
reconstruction. Already the Delegates' Dining Room was moved from the
fourth floor of the Secretariat Building down to a curtained off
portion of the first floor cafeteria. Twenty people were jettisoned
during that move, a waiter told Inner City Press. “Now, twenty
impacted work for the UN's contractor Aramark, they point out that
Aramark signed a new deal with the UN knowing full well about the
Capital Master Plan. More than one of them asked, “Is that contract
being changed now?” Watch this space.
constructive, non-UN customers of the Delegates' Dining Room can no
longer easily access it, as they are not allowed in through the 42nd
Street gate. There is good food, but not good enough to justify an
UN's Ban and rosy CMP: spooky routes and layoffs not shown
the other end of the UN campus, the supposed replacement of the
Delegates' Lounge is a mere metal booth with locked up liquor bottles
and no running water. There's been walk of it moving out from the
drab area by computer terminals to the front of the second floor,
windowless but at least more centrally located. But it has yet to
“The UN is dying,” more than one person has said. Another
joked, it's a wonder that this didn't make it into Inga Britt
Ahlenius' end of assignment report.
Finally, for now, the route from the UN's No Whistleblower press zone
to the Security Council has gotten even more surreal, with thick cables
running from the ceiling of the garage reporters and others pass
through. Even this route is now under fire, with CMP chief Adlerstein
planning construction right at the entrance to the basement area the
Security Council is in.
Another door is being prepared. But Adlerstein hasn't spoken to the
press or taken questions in a long time -- perhaps understandably.
Watch this site.
* * *
Routes Through Garages & Dark Halls, Evictions and
1 -- The UN's emptied building was spooky and some day
dangerous during Memorial
Day's emergency Security Council meetings
about the assault on the flotilla to Gaza. In the UN's lobby, a
plywood fence has been erected. It was supposed to block
traffic from May 29 onward. But due to bad planning various UN
functions have not moved out of the building.
June 1 the door
through the plywood fence was still open. Despite signs saying that
hardhats and protective gear against asbestos were required, UN staff
whose offices had not been moved walked through the dark corridor.
"This is crazy," one of them told Inner City Press. "Is
a hardhat supposed to keep me from breathing asbestos?"
told to access the Security Council from their
Whistleblower Free Zone over the library by walking through the
garage. One television producer said, this can't be safe, and planned
a video expose. The UN is proposing a new set of guidelines to
further restrict access to the media, the producer complained: "this
is Ban Ki-moon's UN."
way from the Press pen to the Security
Council involves going outside near the Spokesperson's Office, by the
river and up to the General Assembly, through the basement to to the
Security Council. But on June 1 the electronic turnstiles set to go
into use that day weren't assembled and weren't ready. Of the two old
elevators to the Press (and Management) floors above the library, one
UN Staff Union,
having been threatened
with eviction by Capital Master Plan chief
Michael Adlerstein, had their phones cut off on May 28. When they
arrived for work on June 2, the offices in the Secretariat Building
were empty, they say. But their equipment and furniture had not shown
up in the Alcoa Building either, having been stored on a truck all
weekend. CMP means Can't Manage Planning, they say. But now whole
floors of the empties Secretariat Building are being used for
storage, or for contractor Skanska or its consultants.
At UN, during cleaner moving times: spooky halls not shown
asked the UN Spokesperson's Office a few questions and got these
What happened with the video monitors which were
installed outside the conference rooms in the Conference Building
which used to show the meeting schedules.? Will they be reused, or
were they sold, or thrown away?? Where are they now, and who is
responsible for their custody?
video monitors were removed by the Broadcast and
Conference Support Section (BCSS), on behalf of the Department of
General Assembly and Conference Management (DGACM), in coordination
with the Capital Master Plan. The monitors are in the Facilities
Management Service, BCSS Store and will be reused wherever practical.
Speaking of video monitors, there is a monitor in front
of the cafeteria which until last week only showed pages from a
French news/TV site.? An image of Sarkozy visiting Afghanistan in
February was frozen on that monitor for?some time.? Was that monitor
donated by France on condition that it only show images of Sarkozy??
Why is it dark now?? Who is responsible for programming that
monitor was provided by the TV5 Monde, in coordination
and with full support of the Department of Public Information. The
monitor is to display news and informational programming broadcast by
TV5 Monde and delivered to the UN over the internet. Recently we have
had some technical issues which we are working to resolve and hope
there will be a full resumption of service in the near future.
* * *
as "Slumlord," Forced Relocation in the End,
Ceiling Collapse Confirmed, Asbestos Denied but not Tested
28, updated -- Alongside the sealing off of the UN
Building, a new ceiling collapse in the General Assembly basement and
relentlessly upbeat storytelling by the UN about happy staffers and
even reporters in their new swing space, as in many refugee
situations it all comes down to force.
chief of the UN
Capital Master Plan Michael Adlerstein has written:
that you do not pack your materials as requested,
for your material to be packed and relocated to the Alcoa
space during the weekend of 29-31 May 2010. In either event,
telephone and computer connections will be relocated ... this
weekend, and the locks will be changed at your old office in the
Secretariat on Friday night. On Tuesday morning June 1, you will not
be allowed to enter your former offices."
New York or most real estate situation, there is no
possibility of appeal or any outside review. "It's like a threat
from a slumlord," one reader of the letter told Inner City
that Information Technology staff are, in fact,
remaining in the Secretariat high rise. It is unclear when they will
be moved to the basement of the North Lawn building.
workers at UN Television report they will be moved upstairs
"to where Verbatim used to be" -- that is, the Department
of General Assembly and Conference Management staff who were moved to
the bedbug ridden Albano Building swing space will not be coming
Moving, like it or not: garbage cart, Adlerstein as
locksmith not shown
series of CMP
related questions have been sent this morning to the spokespeople for
the Secretary General and for the CMP, including about yet another
ceiling collapse in the General Assembly lobby, the reported charging
of admission to see a film inside the UN, frozen and missing video
monitors and the future of the US Post Office inside the UN. Watch
p.m. -- from the UN, on one of eight questions:
your first question from CMP
From: UN Spokesperson -
Do Not Reply
Fri, May 28, 2010 at 12:09 PM
To: Inner City Press
another ceiling collapse in front of the gift shop, in the
public area of the UN.? Has the UN done testing to confirm that there
is not asbestos being released in the vicinity of visitors, including
children?? When were the tests done, and will the UN make them
sf of plaster have fallen down near the Gift Shop.
The plaster in that area had to be replaced a few times before due to
a recurring leakage problem. This plaster does not contain asbestos.
* * *
UN, Adlerstein Demands Departure of Staff Union, CMP Won't Disclose
Luggage Building Lease Length
NATIONS, May 26 -- As the UN surrounds
its iconic skyscraper with a
blue plywood construction fence, inside a battle is brewing. The UN
Staff Union, with its longtime offices on the fifth floor, has yet to
be moved out. Capital Master Plan chieftain Michael Adlerstein
ordered them to leave on May 21 and again on May 24, but they did
not. He rejected their reasons, and has commanded that they will
move, like it or not.
visit to the
fifth floor on May 26 found moving boxes sitting empty. Construction
workers with hardhats passed through the hall, from working out on
the roof. Staff Union officials described their back and forth with
Adlerstein's envoy Ken Champion, who they say was reasonable.
finally, when they asked how their staffer would be put in harm's
way, Champion returned to say that Adlerstein said no, it didn't
matter, they would move. He argued that they are costing the UN
money, to continue services to the floor.
the 5th floor still works, but will not stop at 3, 4, 6, 8-12, 14 and
15. The information technology workers further upstairs will remain
for the foreseeable future, until their functions can be "migrated"
to the basement of the new North Lawn building. Great planning.
As UN empties, Union and IT workers remaining not shown
of Inner City Press' report that
the Capital Master Plan's lease
on the Albano "swing space" building on 46th Street runs
for a full ten years, the CMP has declined to disclose the length
the UN's lease of the 42nd Street "Innovation Luggage"
this is because it was the UN "Facilities Management
Service" that rented the Luggage Building, and not the CMP. Why?
Press is told by a well placed UN official that the CMP
was only authorized to lease a certain number of square feet of swing
space. Due to bad planning, much more is necessary. And so the
additional lease is run through FMS. But how? Where does this money
suddenly appear (and disappear) from? Watch this site.
for an Inner City Press YouTube channel video, mostly UN Headquarters
footage, about civilian
in Sri Lanka.
Click here for Inner City
Press' March 27 UN debate
Click here for Inner City
Press March 12 UN (and AIG
Click here for Inner City
Press' Feb 26 UN debate
on Sri Lanka http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/17772?in=11:33&out=32:56
Click here for Inner City Press' Jan.
16, 2009 debate about Gaza
Click here for Inner City Press'
review-of-2008 UN Top Ten debate
Click here for Inner
City Press' December 24 debate on UN budget, Niger
Click here from Inner City Press'
December 12 debate on UN double standards
Click here for Inner
City Press' November 25 debate on Somalia, politics
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
* * *
usually also available through Google
News and on Lexis-Nexis.
for a Reuters
AlertNet piece by this correspondent
about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click
for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali
Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an
undefined trust fund. Video
UN, NY 10017
City Press are listed here,
some are available
in the ProQuest service, and now on Lexis-Nexis.
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