Military


Hoboken Shipyards

America's favorite pass-time was born in Hoboken on June 19, 1846 when the first officially recorded baseball game was played on Elysian Field between the New York Nine and the Hoboken Knickerbockers. New York whooped the local team 23 - 1. Frank Sinatra's father, Anthony, was working as a boilermaker in the Hoboken shipyards when he was born. Hoboken has long served as a proving ground for bands, performers and comedians getting their practice in a less discriminating atmosphere than Manhattan.

The primary industry during Hoboken's days as an industrial capital was shipbuilding. After buying Hoboken in 1784, city founder Col. John Stevens III (1749-1838) had dreams of turning his rustic wooded estate into a moneymaking weekend resort for wealthy Manhattan city dwellers. After his purchase of Hoboken, he turned his energy to improving what was then a relatively new technology - the steam engine. By 1790 Col. John Stevens III had designed improvements in boilers for steamboats.

In 1841, New Jersey businessmen Robert L. and Edwin A. Stevens proposed the construction of a fast armored steamer to defend New York harbor. The idea of this battery occurred to Mr. Stevens shortly after the war of 1812, as an effectual means of protecting the harbor of New York in case of future wars. Stevens' War Steamer was laid down in 1842 at Hoboken, New Jersey. After consideration by both the Navy and the Congress, the Stevens brothers received a contract for such a vessel in February 1843 and began building the ship at Hoboken, New Jersey. This visionary project, which came to be called the "Stevens Battery", represented a number of significant advances in warship technology. However, it rapidly grew beyond the available Government finances, absorbed a great deal of the Stevens' own money and went on for over three decades without coming anywhere close to completion. By the time of the Civil War the Navy had little interest in completing the ship, which would have been far too large for use against the Confederacy.

Stevens never abandoned hope, and upon his death in 1868 left a large bequest to the State of New Jersey to finish the project. Though work resumed, with the design brought up to date with the idea of perhaps completing the Battery as a large, fast single-turret monitor, by 1874 the available funds were exhausted with the ship still far from completion. The "Stevens Battery" was ultimately broken up on her building ways, according to some sources as early as 1874-75 though others date place the project's end about a decade later.

The operation of the Hoboken Shipyard, while under the control of Bethlehem Steel, had been unsuccessful for some time before November 1982 when Eliot Braswell, an officer of Hoboken Shipyards, decided to purchase the yard. In an effort to make the operation successful, Hoboken Shipyards instituted a number of changes. Thus, major reductions were made in the expenses for fuel and lighting at the shipyard. The supervisory staff under the Bethlehem Steel operation had numbered 160 but Hoboken Shipyards limited its supervisory staff to 60 individuals. In addition, and with the Union's agreement, the number of shop stewards was reduced, the lunch period was shortened, the length of vacation period also was reduced, and the employees were not assigned to permanent shifts but were assigned as needed.

Bethlehem Steel had collective-bargaining agreements with Industrial Union of Marine and Shipbuilding Workers of America, Local 15, AFL-CIO (Union) for many years, which agreements covered all its employees at the shipyard at Hoboken, New Jersey.

Hoboken Shipyards hired some of Bethlehem Steel's supervisory staff, including Joseph Cangelosi, as assistant general manager. As a matter of self-interest, Cangelosi was determined to gain greater control over the operation at the shipyard and to put together the best possible organization and, with this goal in mind, he instructed the foremen of each department to provide him with a list "of the best, most dependable, easiest to supervise, most skilled, most productive, most supportive" individuals. He wanted people who would "put out the effort to make our second chance a successful chance." Cangelosi also told the supervisors not to list those individuals who had been absent frequently, or were drunkards, thieves, malcontents, refused to cooperate, or wanted things their own way.Seniority gained by employees at Bethlehem Steel would not determine the employees to be hired by Hoboken Shipyards, employees would be hired based on their skills and abilities.

In December 1982 Bethlehem Steel sold the shipyard to Hoboken Shipyards, Inc. and on January 1, 1983, Hoboken Shipyards began its operations at the shipyard. Hoboken Shipyards, under the terms of the purchase and sales agreement between the parties, purchased only the personal and real assets of Bethlehem Steel and reserved the right to hire its own employees and to regulate its labor relation policies. The agreement also provided that Hoboken Shipyards would not consider an employee's seniority with Bethlehem Steel as a factor in its decision to hire employees and it further stated that Hoboken Shipyards did not succeed to or assume the collective-bargaining agreement in existence between Bethlehem Steel and the Union.

Hoboken Shipyards was not obligated to hire the employees of Bethlehem Steel merely because it purchased the assets of that company. Moreover, Hoboken Shipyards reserved the right to hire its own work force in the Purchase and Sales Agreement it signed with Bethlehem Steel. However, Hoboken Shipyards could not refuse to hire an individual for reasons proscribed by the National Labor Relations Act, such as engaging in union activities while employed by Bethlehem Steel and/or because they were involved in the charges filed with the Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Although Hoboken Shipyards was not obligated to hire Bethlehem Steel employees it did hire, as part of its initial work force, approximately 103 former Bethlehem Steel employees, in addition to other employees. Hoboken Shipyards granted recognition to the Union in December 1982 because the Bethlehem Steel's former employees constituted a majority of Hoboken Shipyards's initial work force, and Hoboken Shipyards entered into a colletive-bargaining agreement with the Union, effective from December 1982 to December 1983. The total number of applications for employment filed by both former emplovees of Bethlehem Steel and by other individuals numbered between 1500 and 2000 and front this number approximately 500 to 600 individuals were hired. In addition to hiring former Bethlehem Steel rank-and-file employees, Hoboken Shipyards also hired some of Bethlehem Steel's supervisory staff.

In 1985 Hoboken Shipyards and Perth Amboy Dry Dock Company requested reconsideration of a decision denying their protests of the Naval Sea Systems Command's award of a contract because the issues raised had either been filed in an untimely manner, were not appropriate for consideration, or were without merit. In their requests for reconsideration, the firms contended that: (1) the current forward pricing rates were not relevant; (2) the Navy's use of such data in evaluating offerers' cost proposals constituted prejudicial error; and (3) their existing agreements could not have been used for any purpose since regulations preclude the use of forward pricing rate agreements when changed conditions have invalidated the agreements.

GAO held that: (1) it was reasonable for the Navy to use forward pricing data to formulate labor and overhead rates as elements in the cost to the government evaluation factor score; and (2) a request for reconsideration must contain a detailed statement of the factual and legal grounds on which reversal or modification is warranted and must specify any errors of law made in the decision or information not previously considered. GAO found that the protesters' requests for reconsideration were an indication of dissatisfaction with the previous decision and did not present any new facts which were not previously considered or any errors of law in the previous decision. Accordingly, the requests for reconsideration were denied.

In a significant enforcement case involving asbestos in Region 2, in 1995 a judge levied the maximum penalty of $2,975,000 against Hoboken Shipyards/Sandelwood Construction Company. In U.S. v. Harry Grant and Sandalwood Construction Corp. (D.NJ), on November 17, 1995 the court granted the United States' motion for Summary Judgement and awarded the requested statutory maximum penalty against both defendants. Harry Grant and Sandalwood were found to be operators of the demolition of approximately 70 acres of run down buildings (formerly a Bethlehem Steel shipyard) in an area of the Hoboken waterfront. The company continued to demolish buildings without prior removal of asbestos and proper notification to EPA even after receiving an administrative order from EPA and a federal court preliminary injunction.

The Court found that there were 119 violations of the asbestos demolition NESHAP that occurred during the summer of 1988, resulting in a total penalty of $2.975 Million. The judge refused to mitigate the penalty, reasoning that the violations continued after EPA issued administrative orders requiring that they be ceased, and the violations may have endangered the health of hundreds of nearby residents. In applying the penalty assessment criteria of 113(e)(1) of the CAA, the Court found no basis from the evidence available in the record to assess anything less than the maximum $25,000 for each of the 119 violations found. In setting the maximum penalty, the judge cited the company's lack of respect for environmental regulations.

By 1999 The Applied Companies was one of the most active developers along the Gold Coast. At The Shipyard, the developer is in the midst of building a 20-acre, mixed-use community on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel Shipyard. When completed, the community will feature 1,165 luxury rental and for-sale residences, 65,000 square feet of retail space, a new public promenade and a new waterfront park. The $150 million Shipyard project is a mixed-use retail and residential development on 21 acres of land along the Hudson River in Hoboken, on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard and machine shop.

In December 2001 Federal law enforcement officers subpoenaed documents from the Hudson County Improvement Authority, a county agency that funds projects in various towns, concerning the funding for a section of Hudson River walkway in Hoboken. Federal authorities were looking into a $1 million federal grant that was issued to Shipyard Associates in 2000 to help fund the construction of the riverfront walkway along a boundary of their luxury housing development on Hoboken's northern waterfront.

In October 2003 Hudson County waterfront developer Joseph Barry was charged in a federal corruption Indictment with paying nearly $140,000 to former county Executive Robert Janiszewski and an associate, in return for Janiszewski's official action in securing federal and state grants and loans for Barry development projects. Also named in the Indictment is Paul J. Byrne, a long-time associate and political advisor to Janiszewski and "consultant," who allegedly took a share of the bribes from Barry and acted as an intermediary for some of the payments from Barry to Janiszewski. In all, the Indictment details $8.8 million in federal and state loans and grants that Barry and his enterprise, the Applied Companies, secured through bribery.

Among other things, the Indictment describes what is alleged to be Barry's "payoff sheet," with detailed entries of bribe amounts, dates and notations specifying to which government loan or grant the payoff was connected. The grants specified in the payoff sheet correspond to the public funding sources in connection with large-scale commercial and/or residential developments Barry's companies were undertaking on the so-called "Gold Coast" Hoboken waterfront, according to the Indictment.

The Hoboken Shipyard project, was a mixed-use retail and residential development on approximately 45 acres of land and water, bounded by 12th Street, 16th Street and the Hudson River. Approximately $6.69 million in federal loan guarantees were awarded to the Applied Companies by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in July 1998, through an application submitted by Hudson County's Division of Housing and Community Development.



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