DOB investigating fatal crane accident on union site

Death occurred in Staten Island last month April 04, 2017 10:15AM The city’s Department of Buildings is investigating a crane accident that killed a construction worker on a union site in Staten Island last month. Antonio Veloso, 54, was struck and killed by a load that fell off a crane at 356 Meredith Avenue on March 10, the New York Post reported. Veloso, a Portuguese immigrant, was a member of the Laborers International Union Local 1010. Construction safety has been a hot-button issue in the city, as the number of construction-related deaths and injuries has climbed over the last few years. The issue has largely revolved around the safety of union sites versus those run by nonunion shops. The Building & Construction Trades Council has repeatedly pointed out that a majority of the construction-related deaths in the city in the past two years have occurred on non-union sites. The Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, which represents nonunion contractors, noted tha ... Read the rest of entry »

Building Trades-Backed Report Claims Greater Diversity in Union Construction

This story originally appeared in the Commercial Observer BY REY MASHAYEKHI  MARCH 8, 2017 An Economic Policy Institute report, commissioned by New York’s leading construction trade union and released last week, has highlighted employment diversity practices within the union sector of New York City’s construction industry and compared them favorably to the nonunion sector. The report, entitled “Diversity in the New York City union and nonunion construction sectors,” points to several statistically-backed findings exemplifying how the union sector outpaces the nonunion industry in terms of workforce diversity, while also spotlighting instances in which the unions have themselves made historical strides in becoming more inclusionary. According to EPI, the union sector “employs a greater share of black workers and pays them more than the nonunion construction sector,” while also improving on its historical performance by drawing in more minority workers throu ... Read the rest of entry »

Gov. Cuomo’s Choice: Protect Immigrants or Bow to Unions?

BY BRIAN SAMPSON Gov. Cuomo has sworn to protect New York’s immigrants, no matter what the cost. So why are some of his allies turning them over for deportation? New reporting revealed that construction unions closely tied to the governor are leading an effort to report and deport undocumented immigrants in upstate New York. In fact, the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters is openly boasting about its tactics in Buffalo, which have already led to several raids and arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “The carpenters union devotes a lot of money and resources to this,” said Bill Bing, an official for the union, who was apparently very proud of his anti-immigrant work.  That might have come as a surprise to Gov. Cuomo, who has positioned himself as both an opponent of deportations and a champion of construction unions. It is now clear that the he can’t have it both ways. But it will be easier and smarter for Gov. Cuomo to change course on one of ... Read the rest of entry »

ABC to Gov. Cuomo: Talk with the Experts, Not Just Donors

Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 3, 2016 – Leadership of the Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter (ABC), called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to visit with merit shop (open shop) leaders while he is in Florida attending the Building & Constructions Trade Council of Greater New York winter conference.  "It's unfortunate that once again Governor Cuomo chose to only speak with the New York Building Trades and not the entire construction community,” said Brian Sampson, President of the ABC Empire Chapter. Sampson was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, attending the ABC National Workforce Week. The conference is an annual celebration of the best in merit shop construction, recognizing the contributions of contractors and craft professionals to the construction industry.  “Just down the street from him in Fort Lauderdale are some of the greatest minds and workers of the merit shop community are celebrating their commitment to their craft and workforce development. But they won ... Read the rest of entry »

R. Alexander Acosta Nominated to Serve as Secretary of Labor After Puzder Withdraws

On Feb. 15, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Labor, former CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder, withdrew from consideration of the position. Prior to his withdrawal, Puzder was slated to appear before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions for a hearing on Thursday Feb. 16.
On Feb. 16, President Trump nominated Florida International University’s College of Law dean Alexander Acosta to head the U.S. Department of Labor. Under former President George W. Bush, Acosta was confirmed by the U.S. Senate three times, as a member of the National Labor Relations Board, the head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and as a U.S. Attorney in Miami, Fla. Acosta is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito when he was a judge on the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Hundreds of Workers Call for Fairness in Council Safety Legislation

New York City, Jan. 30—The Associated Builders and Contractors Empire State Chapter (ABC), in conjunction with clergy, community groups, and organizations representing minority worker interests held a rally with a diverse crowd of hundreds of merit shop craft workers to voice opposition to mandated apprenticeship on private construction jobsites. “We’re here again outside City Hall to call on the City Council to bring attention to the fact that Int. 1447 and mandated apprenticeship will halt construction and put 100,000 hardworking men and women, including many who attended today’s rally, out of a job—without improving safety,” said Brian Sampson, president of the ABC Empire State Chapter. “ABC’s number-one priority is the safety of all workers. Today I stood for the second time alongside hundreds of incredibly skilled New York City merit shop construction workers who are safely building New York’s future and would be put out of work by the p ... Read the rest of entry »

South Glens Falls school officials decide against project labor agreement

MOREAU — The South Glens Falls Central School District’s nearly $58 million capital project will not be done under a project labor agreement. The Board of Education on Tuesday voted against entering into negotiations for a PLA in which every contractor that works on the project would have to sign and be bound by its terms. PLAs often supersede individual union contracts, and the cited benefits include preventing work stoppages from labor disputes. Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton said after voters approved the proposition in December 2015, the board was approached by the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council about exploring a PLA. The board hired a consultant to perform a study to determine whether there would be cost savings under an arrangement. The board had tabled the matter from a contentious December meeting, where advocates for and against PLAs spoke out and the district’s consultant, attorney David Wukitsch, walked out in frustration over critici ... Read the rest of entry »

Associated Builders and Contractors Hold ‘World Class Safety’ Presentation with New York Developers

On January 5th, the Associated Builders and Contractors’ Inc. Empire State chapter held it’s “Road Map to World Class Safety” forum in which dozens of developers and contractors from around the New York City area learned how to enhance their knowledge on the benefits of construction safety reform. Brian Sampson, President of the NY state chapter, hosted the event along with national ABC CEO Mike Bellaman, who lead the event charismatically, representing ABC’s well studied Safety Training Evaluation Process (STEP) program and its substantial difference with the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) industry average reports by the Total Recordable Incident Rate. Mr. Bellaman spoke about the gift of choice, appealing to tragedy and success, and the integrity of the work that the construction industry must uphold. The capability of ABC’s STEP program has proven in its evidence (1) the need for site orientation; (2) the creation of site committee’s; (3) ... Read the rest of entry »

Statement Regarding Construction Safety

Statement by Brian Sampson, president of the Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State Chapter:   “Open shop contractors are committed to upholding safety standards that protect construction workers and members of the public. Any construction-related injury or death is unacceptable, regardless of whether it takes place on a union or non-union site. It is unfortunate that building trade union leaders appear to highlight safety issues on some worksites while downplaying unsafe conditions on others. Additionally, union leaders have proposed strategies, such as mandatory apprenticeship programs, that would increase their own market share at the expense of other much-needed jobs throughout the industry.   We need a comprehensive and inclusive approach to construction safety, not a selective approach. ABC will continue to work with all stakeholders – including the mayor’s office, the City Council and the Dept. of Buildings – to provide every worker with the skills a ... Read the rest of entry »

New York Ranks 47th for Construction Business Climate, According to Associated Builders and Contractors Scorecard

ALBANY, NY, Nov. 22– New York is a poor place for construction contractors to do business, according to state rankings released today by Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). “Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard” reviews and ranks state-specific information significant to the success of the commercial and industrial construction industry.  The scorecard identifies states, such as New York, where improvements need to be made to create an environment where merit shop contractors are well positioned to succeed as well as states that have created contractor-friendly business environments.  The Merit Shop Scorecard grades states on their policies on project labor agreement (PLA) and prevailing-wage mandates and Right-to-Work status as well as their construction job growth rate, commitment to developing a well-trained workforce, career and technical education opportunities and results, and use of public-private partnerships.   “New York policymakers can re ... Read the rest of entry »

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Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire State is the voice of the merit shop in the New York construction industry.  We believe the merit shop movement is a movement for the betterment of the individual... the construction industry... and the nation.. 
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