Skip to content

Hundreds of Workers Call for Fairness in Council Safety Legislation

New York City, Jan. 30—The Associated Builders and Contractors Empire State Chapter
(ABC), in conjunction with clergy, community groups, and organizations representing
minority worker interests held a rally with a diverse crowd of hundreds of merit shop
craft workers to voice opposition to mandated apprenticeship on private construction

“We’re here again outside City Hall to call on the City Council to bring attention to
the fact that Int. 1447 and mandated apprenticeship will halt construction and put
100,000 hardworking men and women, including many who attended today’s rally, out
of a job—without improving safety,” said Brian Sampson, president of the ABC Empire
State Chapter. “ABC’s number-one priority is the safety of all workers. Today I stood
for the second time alongside hundreds of incredibly skilled New York City merit shop
construction workers who are safely building New York’s future and would be put out
of work by the proposed apprenticeship program mandate. We are pleased the New
York City Council has made a wide array of good proposals to improve construction
safety, and look forward to continued conversations with the City Council on real
safety reform.”

“Supporters of the apprenticeship mandate on buildings ten stories and above claim
that it will mean fewer accidents,” says Anthony Rinaldi, Chairman of the Associated
Builders and Contractors New York City Regional Leadership Committee.
“What they won’t tell you is that most of the incidents happen on job sites that are
below the ten-story threshold,” adds Rinaldi. “Our goal in holding this rally is to make
City Council officials aware of this discrepancy in the hopes that it will also make
them aware the fact that it could potentially put hundreds of thousands of people out
of a job, including many minorities who need them most, without making building in
NYC safer.”

“Rather than impose unfair new rules, the council can provide immediate improvements
to construction safety in the city by adopting best practices from high-performing
contractors such as mandatory scaffold training and fall protection certifications,
that are accessible to all parties involved in construction,” added Sampson. “ABC
members work hard to recruit, develop and retain a talented, well-trained workforce,
and we look forward to continuing to engage the city council to improve construction
safety in a way that will benefit all workers, regardless of labor affiliation.”