Crain’s New York: Making Construction Safer In The City Requires Investment, Not Organized Labor

From Crain’s New York:

To the Editor:

A May 15 letter from a union leader misrepresented the construction industry’s opposition to a proposed apprenticeship mandate in New York City by spouting union platitudes.

In “Apprenticeships Ensure Safety For Construction Workers,” Eric Dean pretended that the construction industry is striving to avoid paying for safety training.

That’s nonsense.

Last year alone, contractors belonging to Associated Builders & Contractors spent over $1.1 billion to develop talent and ensure workers are safe with proper training. Much of that training involved task-specific safety classes, skills development and other instruction geared toward empowering workers to become leaders that promote a culture of safety on the job site. A ground-up safety program is necessary and that’s what we’ve proposed to the City Council.

Incidentally, we believe that New York City construction needs more training that is data-driven to address the underlying problems.

A deeper analysis of the city’s construction-worker deaths revealed that over 75% of the incidents were on projects below 10 stories. Arguably that’s where the most attention needs to be. But Mr. Dean neglected to disclose that his apprenticeship plan would only apply to projects 10 stories and higher. This would have done nothing to protect a majority of the lives lost.

The proposed mandate is a badly disguised market-grab effort by unions to steer business their way. It would cost thousands of New Yorkers their jobs—while doing nothing for safety.

New York and its hardworking tradespeople deserve better.

Brian Sampson


Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter

Upcoming Events

Dec 02

Core Institute

December 2 @ 9:00 am - December 6 @ 5:30 pm
Dec 04

Hump Day Happy Hour

December 4 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Dec 09

Core Institute

December 9 @ 9:00 am - December 13 @ 5:30 pm
Jan 07
Jan 08

As a full-service trade association, ABC offers a variety of information, tools and services to its members.


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.

Membership is available for general contractors, subcontractors, associates and suppliers.