By Gabriela Resto-Montero
HUDSON SQUARE — A group of 16 engineers, horticulturalists and carpenters at Hudson River Park won an appeal to join a union after their employers tried to stop them last month.
The New York State Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the employees last week after the Hudson River Park Trust challenged an employee vote to join Local 30 because four members of the eligible group abstained from voting.
"It wasn't really good for them to keep fighting us," said Kirk Kelly, an organizer for Local 30 of the Union of Operating Engineers.
"The union was pretty tight and we were getting a lot of community support," Kelly said.
Workers were told the labor board's decision would be respected by the Trust, Kelly said.
The labor organizer said that with the backing of Local 30, the Hudson River Park workers would get help working out deals on vacation days and benefits, among other things.
Next, the workers will meet with the Trust to negotiate a new contract.
"We're really eager to move forward now," Kelly said.