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FIXING NYCHA MEANS SCRAPPING PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS

This winter, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers went without heat or hot water at one point or another during the frigid winter months in NYCHA properties – totaling roughly 80 percent of NYCHA residents. This has prompted an intense discussion across the state about the best ways to make positive changes and repairs to the beleaguered system. One of those solutions is the proposed implementation of a design-build system for NYCHA.  Read the rest of entry »

Cuomo and his Surrogates are Pressuring Local Manufacturer to Build with Discriminatory PLA

Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson blasted Governor Cuomo appointee Howard Zemsky and his team at Empire State Development Corp (ESDC). for pressuring Athenex leadership to place a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) on the construction of their new plant in Dunkirk. The organization, ABC, fights the use of PLA’s calling them “a conscientious violation of competitive bidding laws in order to give back to Cuomo supporters.” New York State has ramped up its use of PLA’s that freeze out local, non-union workers.  Read the rest of entry »

Outdated Union Work Rules Driving Up MTA Costs

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) has come under fire of late. It’s been accused of being one the most mismanaged transit authorities in the world. These accusations arise from the MTA being plagued by construction delays and high costs. However, being that all construction on NYC subways has to be 100% completed by union labor, the finger should not only point at the MTA.  The Regional Plan Association (RPA) conducted a study to determine what factors are causing these high costs and delays. The study concluded that outdated union work rules are the root cause of delays and high costs. The RPA study concluded that union work rules are, “out of synch with worldwide industry standards”. They back up this conclusion with data from the MTA megaproject called the Second Avenue Subway. Phase one of this project, which was only three miles, took eight years and $5.57 billion. The can be directly attributed to union work rules.  Union work rules are set by Collective Bargaini ... Read the rest of entry »

Prevailing Wage Driving Up MTA Construction Costs

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), has been in the spotlight of late due to astonishing articles published by the New York Times (NYT). The articles shed light on the massive amount of taxpayer money that’s being wasted on New York City’s subways.  A recent study by the Regional Plan Association (RPA) backed up the Times claims and further showed just how expensive MTA projects have become. The study looked at three different megaprojects to determine what factors are causing high construction costs. The RPA concludes that labor costs are the most divisive cost driver. The RPA cites a Turner and Townsend study, that found New York construction labor costs to be the highest in the world, reaching almost $100 per hour. These labor costs are directly attributed to New York’s Prevailing Wage Law.  What’s prevailing wage? Prevailing wage is the amount set forth in union Collective Bargaining Agreements covering at least 30% of workers in specialized trades. However, t ... Read the rest of entry »

PLA's will hurt Trumps Infrastructure Plan

For President Trumps Infrastructure Plan to be successful he needs to remove the use of Project Labor Agreements (PLA's). Read the rest of entry »

Ambush Elections Rule

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) “Ambush Election” rule came into effect on April 14th, 2015 under President Obama. The rule effectively:  Shortens the time period for workplace elections over whether to form a union  Prevents workers from getting full and complete information from both unions and employers  It requires employers to disclose their employees’ personal contact information to union organizers  And, undermines employers’ due process rights  By shortening the window for elections, unions gain an unfair advantage over employers. Under the current rule, elections can be held in just 10 days from the filing of the petition, whereas before the rule, elections had to wait for over a month. This is like one presidential candidate taking all the time they need to campaign, while the other has no idea he’s campaigning and then, when the moment is right, that candidate can initiate the election leaving the other just 10 days to campaig ... Read the rest of entry »

Optional Payroll Tax Reform

In the weeks after President Trump's tax reform bill passed, Governor Cuomo has become his own version of Paul Revere, but instead of the British, he's warning that "tax increases are coming". However, unlike the British, these tax increases aren't really coming. The truth is, he's simply using fear tactics and his own version of fake news to help his donor community, who make up the wealthiest 1% of New Yorkers. Cuomo's proposed payroll tax is a major issue not only for our members but for New York State as a whole. Recently, we've had some light shed on this proposed tax. In his plan, employers that opt-in to the payroll tax would be subject to a five percent tax on all annual payroll expenses in excess of $40,000 per employee, to be phased in over three years beginning on January 1, 2019. Cuomo says this tax plan is aimed at protecting employees from federal tax increases. However, he's hiding his true intentions because in fact, a large percentage of New Yorkers will receive tax cuts, not ... Read the rest of entry »

"Union leaders demanding 'construction safety for all' should mean it"

By Joshua Reap http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20170830/OPINION/170829884   New York’s construction union bosses have claimed they want to increase safety for all workers. As explained by Pat Purcell, who runs a jointly managed trust fund of the Mason Tenders District Council and its contractors, the goal was to “develop legislation that would increase safety standards for all workers—union and nonunion alike.”   So why are some of those union bosses now lobbying for a City Council bill that would do just the opposite and give their own members a competitive advantage by letting them avoid any additional safety training?   Unfortunately, that’s the reality of the debate behind the controversial legislation, known as Intro 1447, which would change safety training standards in the city’s construction industry. The council must put a stop to this flawed and politically motivated legislation before it becomes a bad law that only leaves more workers at ... Read the rest of entry »

115th Congress – Federal Update

115th Congress – Federal Update August Recess Begins Summer vacation began in Washington on Friday. President Donald Trump left for two weeks in Bedminster, New Jersey, joining the just-departed Senate and House of Representatives for an August recess. Before leaving, the Senate moved to block President Trump from making key appointments during its summer recess, then wrapped up action until September by confirming dozens of presidential nominees.  The Senate will hold nine “pro forma” sessions during its August recess, which would prevent the president from replacing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and officials in other positions without confirmation. The confirmation of nominees -- particularly a series of deputy secretaries -- clears the deck for lawmakers to tend to other matters when they return Sept. 5, including work on critical bills to cover federal spending, flood insurance programs and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as a plan to avoid defaulting on fed ... Read the rest of entry »

ABC Calls for Drug & Alcohol Testing on NYC Construction

CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY LEADERS CALL ON CITY COUNCIL TO INCREASE WORKSITE SAFETY BY MANDATING DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING FOR ALL NEW YORK CITY CONSTRUCTION SITES Around One-Third of All Incidents on Construction Sites Nationwide are Related to Drug or Alcohol Use, According to Industry Study Numerous City Agencies Already Requiring Drug Testing for Jobs That Are Much Less Dangerous than Construction City’s Dept. of Education Already Requires Drug Testing for Construction Laborers and Project Managers on its Worksites New York, NY—As the City Council continues discussing ways to increase construction safety, the Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter today held a press conference on the steps of City Hall urging the Council to introduce and pass legislation mandating drug and alcohol testing on all New York City construction sites. Joshua Reap, ABC Empire State Chapter’s vice president of public affairs, was joined at the press conference by construction c ... Read the rest of entry »
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Recent Posts

FIXING NYCHA MEANS SCRAPPING PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS
 Tanner Schmidt  Wednesday, March 28, 2018  3

This winter, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers went without heat or hot water at one point or another during the frigid winter months in NYCHA properties...

Cuomo and his Surrogates are Pressuring Local Manufacturer to Build with Discriminatory PLA
 Tanner Schmidt  Sunday, March 11, 2018  3

Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC), Empire State Chapter President Brian Sampson blasted Governor Cuomo appointee Howard Zemsky and his team at Empire...

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