The DC Wharf development opened yesterday with great pomp and circumstance, but a new report calls it a “massive taxpayer subsidy” that created low-wage jobs with minimal benefits. While the District approved $300 million in public subsidies for the Wharf project, Ilana Boivie, author of an analysis by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, said that “Unfortunately, neither the developer nor the District’s economic development leaders took meaningful steps to ensure that the Wharf resulted in good-quality jobs or other benefits for DC residents.” While some unions had workers at the site, and DC resident hiring was respectable,most construction workers at the Wharf were not represented by a union, and many of its non-union construction jobs paid less than $15 an hour, often with minimal benefits. The hotel, restaurant, and retail jobs at the newly opened Wharf also are likely to be non-union, and have similarly low pay and benefits. We have a link to the study on our website, dclabor.org.
photo: DC residents and Laborers Local 11 apprentices Eric Baten and Lewis Jones standing up for quality jobs at the DC Wharf yesterday