ABC President Brian Sampson’s Statement Regarding the Expansion of Prevailing Wage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 27, 2019

Media Contact: Amanda Bertram (518) 469-1507

Statement by Brian Sampson, President of the Associated Builders and Contractors Empire State Chapter:

Brian-SampsonWe cannot allow the building trades, which represent only 21% of the construction workforce in New York, to manipulate legislation that only benefits their union workers. In addition to driving up construction costs, this measure will have a negative impact on the Latino and African American construction workers who choose not to be affiliated or were discriminatorily excluded from joining union halls.

The reports are clear.  The use of prevailing wage on projects does not improve the quality of the project nor does it make them safer.  Instead, it means projects will cost 15-30% more and any financial support will need to be increased to make those projects feasible.  We shouldn’t be making New York more expensive.

Lawmakers must not cave to pressure from the building trades to advance an irresponsible expansion of prevailing wage. Requiring prevailing wage on private projects will do nothing but stymie job growth across the entire state and stall all hopes of a more vibrant economy in New York State. No one should be blinded by the claims of the trades that this is good for the public. The facts are clear: this legislation is only good for them.

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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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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.

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A lack of public hearings on the issue and the rush to get the bill passed by the end of session also means that final details of the bill will be determined behind closed doors, according to Brian Sampson, president of Empire Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors. “The potential impact of this bill, as drafted, could stop economic development in parts of this state for a long time,” he said. “Why aren't we talking about this bill more openly, and having more discussions and dialogue about it, instead of wrapping it up with a pretty little bow in the ‘Big Ugly?’”

Union Requirement Inflates Cost of State Fair Bridge

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2019-03-27T12:31:12-05:00