Listen: Union rep says Sweet’N Low closure a real estate boondoggle

Brooklyn Paper
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Councilman Vincent Gentile

Ah, Sweet’N Low, we hardly knew ye.

The lovely Jane Kuntzman.

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Here’s the sweet and lowdown — it is a real estate boondoggle!

One of the leaders representing union workers at Cumberland Packing —makers of Sweet’N Low and Sugar in the Raw— says that if he were a “betting man” he’d wager that the plan to close the Flushing Avenue factory that has been a Brooklyn staple since World War II is a sour, cynical land-use ploy.

“They’re sitting on some real estate over here sandwiched between Dumbo and Fort Greene,” said Micha Gaus, the political director for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 2013. “And we shouldn’t take jobs away from black and Latino working-class families and give that land over to real estate developers to build another condominium tower.”

The charge came during and interview with Brooklyn Paper Editor-in-Chief Vince DiMiceli and Daily News Editor Gersh Kuntzman on this week’s edition of Brooklyn Paper Radio, a weekly podcast about happenings in Brooklyn.

The show also included a sit-down with the longest-serving member of the City Council, Vincent Gentile, the Bay Ridge Democrat who spoke about the latest slew of problems with the city’s subway system, including the possible closure of the L-train tunnel, the closure of a number of station along the N-line, and his constituents general disenchantment with the R train.

Vince and Gersh also spoke with reporter Colin Mixson about a hit-and-run driver how sped his car into the Gowanus Canal this afternoon, with reporter Lauren Gill about her ground-breaking coverage of Brooklyn’s tallest apartment complex, with deputy editor Ruth Brown about a new, hipster coffee shop in America’s Downtown.

Finally, Gersh had a heart-to-heart with his daughter Jane about the difficulties high-school freshman face today.

Brooklyn Paper Radio is webcast every Monday at 4:30 pm on, and can subscribed to and downloaded automatically to your favorite device Apple device — for free — here.

Updated 10:40 am, January 19, 2016
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Reasonable discourse

Duh from Williamsburg says:
This person clearly doesn't understand zoning. The site is zoned M1-2. You can't build a condo tower - or any residential building, at all - on that site.
Jan. 19, 2016, 10:46 am
Phantom from Bay Ridge says:
I am very sympathetic to the employees who stand to lose their jobs, but the playing of the race card by the union weasel here leaves me cold.
Jan. 19, 2016, 11:47 am
Brooklyner from Williamsburg says:
How can a union rep not know most of the manufacturing was done in the Navy Yard? Sounds like they are grasping at straws. Yes, that area is changing but if they wanted to develop it would not be hard to imagine putting all of there operations into the yard.
Jan. 20, 2016, 10:27 am

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