By FRANK LOMBARDI, BARBARA ROSS
and BILL HUTCHINSON
Daily News Staff Writers
Former Mayor David Dinkins blasted city officials
yesterday for being unprepared for the 40,000 construction workers
who clashed with cops Tuesday, while Mayor Giuliani defended the
way police quelled the violence.
Dinkins said Giuliani treated the protesters
with kid gloves - in contrast to the iron fist he has shown protesting
"His rationale is that they only expected
10,000 and many more showed up," Dinkins said. "I don't
think they were prepared for even 10,000."
Tuesday's protest drew about 40,000 unionized
workers who are upset over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's
hiring of Roy Kay Inc., a Freehold, N.J., contractor that uses
nonunion builders. The demonstration erupted into clashes with
cops when workers began marching from Manhattan's East Side to
an MTA construction site at W. 54th St. and Ninth Ave.
"I believe that in another city, that
could have been a very, very dangerous situation," said Giuliani,
who praised cops for controlling the violence and arresting 38
Thirty-three hardhats faced charges ranging
from misdemeanor mischief to felony rioting and burglary in Manhattan
Criminal Court yesterday. At least 20 cops and three demonstrators
suffered minor injuries.
Kevin McDermott, an attorney for the workers,
called the charges exaggerated.
As union laborers returned to the MTA construction
site yesterday and shouted obscenities at nonunion builders, Roy
Kay official David Kay defended his company's work.
"They're angry because we're good,"
said Kay. "They can't stop us. We work hard."
Roy Kay's attorneys are seeking an injunction
in Manhattan Supreme Court that would bar protesters from picketing
their work site.
Meanwhile, Giuliani questioned the "political"
savvy of the MTA's decision in April to award the $32.6 million
contract to Roy Kay.
"Here you have one of the largest, most significant contracts being given to a New Jersey company, and you have people out of work in New York," the mayor said.