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OSHA Rescinds "Union Walk Around Rule”

On April 25, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a memorandum withdrawing a letter of interpretation that stated nonunion employees can authorize an individual “affiliated with a union or a community organization” to act as their representative during agency-sanctioned inspections and other enforcement situations.

The 2013 letter of interpretation was written by OSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Richard Fairfax in response to a union clarification request. The letter stated that employees at worksites without collective bargaining agreements can designate an individual affiliated with a union or community organization to be their “personal representative” in enforcement-related matters during a workplace inspection, on OSHA inspection walkarounds.

Since the 2013 letter of interpretation has been withdrawn, the policy reverts to the statutory language expressed in the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act.

A Wisconsin Lesson for Trump the Builder

‘Project labor agreements’ drive up costs on public-works projects. Ben Brubeck April 16, 2017 2:14 p.m. ET President Trump may be a famous builder, but he could learn something about infrastructure from Wisconsin’s Scott Walker and Iowa’s Terry Branstad. On Monday, Gov. Walker is expected to sign a law prohibiting state agencies and local governments from mandating “project labor agreements” on public works. Gov. Branstad signed a similar measure last week. Mandated PLAs are a sop to unions that inflate construction costs and discourage competition. Mr. Trump should issue an executive order to follow suit nationwide. On election night he promised to “rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals.” He has floated a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. But much of that could be wasted if blue states and cities force projects to operate under PLAs. When a PLA is mandated, typically it means that contracted builders, whether union or not ... Read the rest of entry »

ABC National Chair Calls on Congress to End Government Mandated Project Labor Agreements

2017 ABC National Chair Chuck Goodrich’s op-ed calling on Congress to pass the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1552/S. 622) was published in The Hill on April 10. This ABC-priority legislation would allow America's entire construction workforce—including the 86 percent of the private construction workforce that has chosen not to join a labor union—to compete on a level playing field by ensuring that taxpayer-funded construction cannot be subjected to costly and discriminatory government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs).  “Gaylor Electric’s 1,100 skilled employees and their families benefit from opportunities provided by fair and open competition on public works projects,” wrote Goodrich. “However, the government undermines our ability to fairly compete for contracts subject to government-mandated PLAs because it forces us to hire unfamiliar workers instead of the key ingredient that makes our company a safe and efficient industr ... Read the rest of entry »

A phony push for construction site safety

When unions can’t compete, they turn to city pols to get an edge, and that seems to be what’s driving a City Council bill adding a new mandate for construction workers. In the name of boosting safety, the bill would force workers to finish an apprenticeship program before working on buildings over nine stories tall. Yet unions run most of those programs — so the bill would cost some non-union workers their jobs, and generally steer more work to union shops. Good for the non-union — “merit shop” — firms for fighting back. As The Post’s Carl Campanile reported last week, the Associated Builders & Contractors’ New York chapter has pushed the city to probe a Staten Island crane accident that left union worker Antonio Veloso dead. The city says it is investigating the case. ABC wants equal scrutiny because it says the unions often point to violations — especially fatalities — at non-union job sites.“Union leaders are shameful ... Read the rest of entry »

City investigating crane accident that killed construction worker

The Buildings Department is investigating a March 10 crane accident on Staten Island that resulted in the death of a worker at a union construction site.

Antonio Veloso, a 54-year-old Portuguese immigrant and member of the Laborers International Union Local 1010, was killed at 356 Meredith Ave. after being struck by a load that had fallen off a crane.

The Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, which represents nonunion contractors, raised concerns to Buildings Department Commissioner Rick Chandler that there was less public outrage over the accident at a union job site.

A Buildings Department spokesman confirmed the probe.

This article first appeared in the NY Post

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.


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FIXING NYCHA MEANS SCRAPPING PROJECT LABOR AGREEMENTS
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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...

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 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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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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  • Email: Empire@abcnys.org