Statement by Brian Sampson, President of the Associated Builders and Contractors Empire State Chapter Regarding Assemblyman Bronson’s New Prevailing Wage Bill (A.8418)

“The new Bronson prevailing wage bill is another sad attempt by the people we elect to do nothing more than appease the unions at the expense of the taxpayers. Thresholds and tiered incentive targets may seem like a compromise but in reality, are nothing more than a slight of hand meant to distract from the reality that, in the end, the building trades are getting a bailout from the legislature.

The creation of a commission to “study” issues has failed in the past and will fail again. These commissions are merely political bodies put in place to protect the legislature. They take on complicated issues, removing responsibility from lawmakers for the negative impact of the commission’s proposals. This is government at its worst.

The inclusion of apprenticeships in this bill is nothing more than a smoke screen. Looking at only a small segment of the workforce is not inclusive of true diversity in construction. In New York, apprenticeships are closely monitored and controlled by the Department of Labor (DOL) through a complicated application and approval process. The extremely tight ratios enforced by DOL make it incredibly difficult for non-union contractors to not only get a program approved, but to then have enough slots to hire the number of apprentices they require.

Contrary to what supporters say, in the end, this bill will not increase wages for workers. Instead, it will dramatically curtail development in New York resulting in pink slips across the labor force. The ending of this story has already been written. We’ve seen this play out in Ulster County, Yonkers and with SUNY when prevailing wages were required for new construction projects and development in those areas reached a standstill. It’s time for our elected to either walk away from this issue or hold public hearings. It’s not the time to halt economic development and negatively change the course of New York’s future.”

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Ogdensburg City Council Votes to Award Wastewater Treatment Plant Contract, Lawsuit Considered by Contractors’ Group

By |September 11th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

OGDENSBURG — City Council unanimously voted to award a construction contract to Jett Industries of Colliersville for the $35.9 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project, but also caught an earful from two separate parties skeptical about the process, Monday night.

Ogdensburg City Council Awards WWTP Project Bid, Despite Complaints From Non-Union Labor Representative

By |September 10th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

Ogdensburg City Council took a tongue lashing after accepting a $35.9 million wastewater treatment plant rehabilitation project bid from Jett Industries. Amanda Bertram, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors, called the award shameful and told city councilors they should have heeded her warnings about entering into a project labor agreement just to please Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

Editorial — Too Hot to Handle: Labor Pact Didn’t Save Ogdensburg Any Money on Project Bids

By |August 29th, 2019|Categories: Albany, News|

“It’s not shocking, this is a pattern that we have seen with public works projects across New York state that are bid with project labor agreements,” Amanda Bertram, vice president of public affairs for the Associated Builders and Contractors/Empire State, said in a story published Saturday by the Times. “Across the board, they all come in millions of dollars over engineering estimates. This is a trend.” Associated Builders and Contractors is a national trade organization representing those in the construction industry who don’t belong to unions. Ms. Bertram met with City Council members in November to discuss the disadvantages of using PLAs.

Marijuana Decriminalization to Pass, Wage Mandate Stalls

By |June 20th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

On Thursday, Cuomo declared a bill expanding a "prevailing wage" requirement that would apply to larger construction projects likely dead. The law would have expanded the definition of "public works" in New York to include projects receiving more than 30 percent of their funding from the government – making those projects eligible for the wage requirement. Powerful building trades unions, who are among Cuomo's most significant political supporters, had pushed the mandate this session.

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