Cuomo's Optional Payroll Tax

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 lar ... Read the rest of entry »

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

By Joshua Reap   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 »

In My Opinion: County should reject Project Labor Agreement

By Brian Sampson President, Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders & Contractors The much-talked about Plattsburgh Airport $40 million construction project will provide hundreds of construction jobs to the region and put Clinton County on the map for growth.  That’s the good news.  The bad news? The project, like the current Norsk plant, is subject to Gov. Cuomo’s habit of picking winners and losers. As he’s done with countless projects across the state, the Governor want a union-favoring Project Labor Agreement (PLA) to be used. If that happens, it will be virtually impossible for most local hardhats to work on the project.   Governor Cuomo earlier this year again pledged his undying support for union labor to build everything union, even when it means back-benching local workers.  He’s already done that here in the region when he forced Norsk to ignore local contractors that built their first facility for union friends that donate to his camp ... Read the rest of entry »

Built by Merit: Profiles of ABC Member Projects

W.M. Schultz Construction is a merit shop contractor based out of Ballston Spa, New York and has been a long time member and supporter of ABC. They perform a variety of heavy civil infrastructure work in the water and wastewater markets, transportation, and industrial markets. They look for complex and demanding work that requires extensive pre-planning and coordination. The bulk of their work is within a three-hour drive of their office which envelopes a significant portion of the Northeast. In fact, you’ve probably seen W.M. Schultz’s green trucks traveling throughout New York State since the company was started by its founder and current president and CEO, Bill Schultz.  Bill had worked for many years learning the benefits and flexibilities that the merit shop philosophy offers from his father. When Bill’s father retired, Bill had the vision of starting his own company. W.M. Schultz Construction was created in 2000 and the comp ... Read the rest of entry »

As construction safety debate heats up, contracting group acknowledges shift away from unions

By Sally Goldenberg  07/05/2017 05:02 AM EDT The city's leading trade organization representing building contractors, historically an ally of construction unions, is increasingly welcoming employers who use nonunion workers as well.  The shift, which the group's president acknowledged in a private speech and interview last week, is taking shape as city officials, organized labor and developers spar over the terms of a bill that would regulate the increasingly dangerous construction industry. A handful of unions, meanwhile, are locked in disputes over collective bargaining agreements that were set to expire last week. Lou Coletti, president of the Building Trade Employers' Association, delivered a candid speech last Wednesday at a dinner hosted by the Construction & Realty Services Group at Keens Steakhouse in Manhattan. He made clear his organization is embracing "open shop" companies whose workers are not required to be in unions and typically charge lower rates. He also vowed to s ... Read the rest of entry »

DOB targets Gilbane after concrete, crowbar falls from Macklowe’s East 59th Street site

Agency is paying close attention to other alleged problem contractors The city is cracking down on Gilbane Residential Construction after a rash of construction mishaps on several of the contractor’s sites. In May, a crowbar fell from the 32nd story of a luxury condo building rising at Macklowe Properties’ 200 East 59th Street, the New York Daily News reported. The tool crashed onto the roof of a taxi driving by and shattered the vehicle’s windshield. An attorney for the driver — who hasn’t worked since — has indicated that he plans to sue. The accident was the third construction-related incident to occur at the site in a two-month span. In another incident in March, three yards of concrete poured down onto vehicles below the building. After the crowbar fell, the Department of Buildings inspected 12 of Gilbane’s 14 sites in the city and found 49 hazardous violations and issued 13 partial or full stop-work orders. Gilbane told the Daily News that it’s w ... Read the rest of entry »

Construction Leaders Take to the Airwaves to Educate Congress on Workforce Issues

by Scott Braddock All last week, members of the Associated Builders and Contractors of America were in Washington to talk with members of Congress and others about the need to invest in a future workforce. As part of their effort, ABC’s national leadership took to the airwaves on WTOP Radio to get into the specifics of sustaining a robust construction industry in an era of emerging technologies. Mike Bellaman, ABC’s president and CEO, told the audience that the group’s 21,000 members “build all of America.” “They build infrastructure, hard – meaning utilities, roads, etc. – as well as social – which means schools, churches and educational institutions,” Bellaman said. “They build office buildings, retail complexes, stadiums – all the special places that we live in, learn, go have fun in, get healed, etc.” “Our members focus heavily on being world class,” Bellaman said of the fierce competition in the marke ... Read the rest of entry »

Renovation of Jewish seminary in Morningside Heights spurs protest over use of non-union labor

By Ginger Adams Otis of the NY Daily News When is it ethical for a Jewish institution to use non-union labor? It’s up for debate. A renovation of the storied Jewish Theological Seminary in Manhattan has sparked a heated Rabbinical discourse among students, faculty and alums — all using the Talmud as their guide. The catalyst was JTS’s decision to make Gilbane Building Co. its general contractor for the massive project in Morningside Heights.   Formerly an all-union shop, Gilbane now uses an “open-shop” model — meaning any company can bid on the parts of the renovation project up for grabs. That set off a predictably angry response from various unions hoping to scoop up the Gilbane contracts — and also an impassioned reaction from JTS students and grads, who question the ethics of the decision. “The whole issue of the rights of workers within the Jewish tradition goes to the time of the Talmud. The Conservative movement, which the JTS is a ... Read the rest of entry »
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Cuomo's Optional Payroll Tax
 Tanner Schmidt  Tuesday, February 20, 2018  0

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...

"Union leaders demanding 'construction safety for all' should mean it"
 anonymous  Thursday, August 31, 2017  5

By Joshua Reap   New York’s construction union bosses have claimed they want to increase...

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