For years, the city of Ogdensburg has struggled to gather funding for improvements to the wastewater treatment plant. Now, with the final financing pieces falling into place, the spendthrift City Council has voted to irresponsibly waste tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to conduct a study to consider using a Project Labor Agreement: a discriminatory, pre-hire agreement with labor organizations requiring that the workforce comes from the local union hiring hall.
The critical project for renovations and additions to the Green Street firehouse will provide hundreds of construction jobs to the region. That’s the good news. The bad news? The Mount Kisco Village Board is making this taxpayer-funded project significantly more expensive by mandating a Project Labor Agreement (PLA).
Brian Sampson, president of the Empire State Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors, which works on behalf of over 400 construction and contracting firms throughout New York State, said he’s actually a bird fan. It’s just that saving them from deadly building crashes with a new law is “unnecessary” and “pretty far down the list” compared to other big cost-drivers affecting construction such as the dusty scaffolding laws, the calculation of prevailing wages, and even recreational marijuana legalization that has been floated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a possible law that he said could endanger pot-free hardhats working alongside legal users.
When it comes to construction, New York City is no longer just a union town.
Construction contractors in New York continue to struggle to do business, according to 2018 state rankings released 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.
A spokeswoman for the Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors, along with two north country private contractors, have informed elected officials in Ogdensburg that they do not support using a Project Labor Agreement as part of the municipality’s $35 million wastewater treatment plant project.
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