All Is Well™: General Seminary coming apart like a movie set facade
Not sure there’s even a seminary there anymore. Like all things TEC, there’s probably a tasteful letterhead and some funded positions for insiders. But reader “hanks” shared some Big Apple news, with a headline so mean and apt that you would think Stand Firm made it up.
CHELSEA — A plan to convert a longtime religious institution into a high-end hotel has led to the firing of 12 workers — lay-offs the owner is blaming on an act of God.
Developer the Brodsky Organization claims damage from Hurricane Sandy forced it to cut the jobs as it turns the Desmond Tutu Center into the luxury Highline Hotel.
But the people laid off say the new owner fired them, then offered to take them back at a lower wage.
The Episcopal General Theological Seminary sold off part of the center to the Brodsky Organization in September, keeping a conference center in the building but giving the 60-room hotel to the developer as part of the $16 million deal.
Brodsky now plans to transform it into the luxury Highline Hotel, overhauling the rooms and building a restaurant and bar with two patios — all needing a liquor license.
Longtime workers said they were paid well and received benefits working at the Desmond Tutu Center at 180 10th Ave., named after the retired South African bishop who spent his life fighting poverty and campaigning for social justice.
But after the takeover, staffers said they were arbitrarily split between either the conference center, which is owned by the seminary and managed by Aramark, or the hotel, which is owned by Brodsky and MCR Development.
And you have this sad, ironic comment from one of the discarded workers:
Cortes said he was skeptical after the layoffs left him without a job at the holidays — and a bitter taste in his mouth about the Episcopal Church.
“They try to make themselves look good by handing us off to someone else,” he said.
Sounds like he could be any one of several hundred deposed clergy and a few hundred thousand former members. Or the Diocese of South Carolina.
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