Cupertino Says NO to KT Urban’s Oaks Shopping Center Project!

Cupertino Says NO to KT Urban’s Oaks Shopping Center Project!

August 16, 2017

Last night, the Cupertino mayor and city council voted 4-to-1 against approving KT Urban’s proposal for re-development of the Oaks Shopping Center site.

“This was a victory for working families in Cupertino, and a vote against a plan that would harm this community while benefitting a private developer,” said Stacy Hatfield of SMART Local 104. “We applaud the mayor and city council for standing up for good jobs, and for holding KT Urban accountable for its poor track record.”

“This was a victory for working families in Cupertino, and a vote against a plan that would harm this community while benefitting a private developer.”

— Stacy Hatfield
SMART Local 104

Mayor Savita Vaidhyanathan and every member of the city council except Councilmember Barry Chang have raised concerns regarding labor standards on KT Urban projects, and questioned the company’s claim that it wants the best for the City of Cupertino.

Last night’s rejection of KT Urban’s Oaks Shopping Center proposal underscores the city’s concerns about the company’s refusal to ensure that contractors on the project would pay livable wages and prioritize hiring locally. At an August 1 council meeting, MEPS rank-and-file members testified about KT Urban’s disregard for working families and warned the council about KT Urban’s use of and praise for Iron Mechanical, a contractor that has been sued for wage theft.

At that August 1 meeting, KT Urban Senior Vice-President Mark Tersini explicitly stated that he would not agree to requiring contractors to use unionized skilled trades men and women on the Oaks project. Several city council members said this response raised red flags for them, and would likely impact their vote on the project.

Last night’s vote confirms the second failed attempt by KT Urban to get development approval in its own hometown.

“This says a lot about KT Urban’s irresponsible development practices,” said Willie Solis, a Business Agent with SMART Local 104.  “Yesterday, MEPS Brothers and Sisters showed up in solidarity with working families and witnessed a council willing to go head-to-head with an irresponsible developer and challenge its harmful business practices.”

“We saw KT Urban’s Oaks Shopping Center proposal die tonight,” said Cindy Reimer of IBEW Local 332.  “They can return to the city council a third or fourth time, but until they do right by working families in Santa Clara County, we will continue to expose their unethical business practices.”