Legal Alert - Commercial Developers and Unions’ “Political Pull”
by Gerard Morales
Commercial developer (Developer) is developing a shopping center in X Township (Township). Developer is considering non-union general contractor (Non-U) to build the shopping center (Project). Developer files applications for the necessary zoning and other permits from Township.
Shortly thereafter, Local Union (Union) called Developer and informed him that Union would not be happy with the selection of Non-U as general contractor, because Non-U is not signatory to contracts with Union. Union also stated that, if Developer contracted Non-U as general contractor for the Project, Union had the “political pull” with Township to get Township to engage in a land development review. This would delay obtaining the necessary permits for the Project for a long time.
Township ordinances provide that Township, at its discretion, may conduct land development reviews for projects such as the one at issue here, before granting the permits. The ordinances also provide that any citizen could request that such review be conducted.