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.
The Empire State Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors points to over-regulation by a state government that continues to be embroiled in corruption. “Governor Cuomo has created more hurdles than opportunities for merit shop construction firms in New York,” said Empire Chapter President Brian Sampson. “The Governor continues to turn a blind eye to tax burdens and inconceivable mandates that are driving small businesses and residents out of New York.”
The scorecard identifies states, such as New York, where improvements need to be made to create an environment where merit-shop contractors are well positioned to succeed as well as states that have created contractor-friendly business environments.
With an overall rank of 47, New York rated low based on prevailing wage mandates, project labor agreement policy and right to work.
New York’s 2018 Scorecard
Overall Rank: 47
Project Labor Agreement Policy: F
Prevailing Wage Mandates: F
Right to Work: F
Public-Private Partnerships: F
Workforce Development Incentives: C
Career and Technical Education: A
Job Growth Rate: C
“The Project Labor Agreement is a discriminatory, pre-hire agreement with labor organizations requiring that the workforce comes from the local union hiring hall. These agreements demonstrate false savings claims and ultimately drive up taxpayer costs. However, they are the preferred method Governor Cuomo has continued to use to give back to his union campaign donors time and time again,” Sampson explained. “On multiple occasions, the Governor has publicly declared his undying support for organized labor, saying he will do everything he can to use PLAs and ensure New York builds everything union. The Governor needs to do away with PLA’s altogether. Until that happens, small businesses will continue to suffer, largely because the Governor’s political aspirations always trump the best interests of his constituents,” Sampson said.
Detailed descriptions of each score are on New York’s page at meritshopscorecard.org.
The merit shop philosophy is the belief that people and companies succeed based on free enterprise principles within the free market system, which is characterized by open and fair competition and diverse participants. Those who adhere to the philosophy believe employees and employers have the right to determine wages and working conditions through either individual or collective bargaining, as they choose, within the boundaries of the law. They oppose violence, coercion, intimidation and the denial of the rights of employees and employers. Furthermore, they believe it is incumbent upon all branches of government to be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and that government should award contracts based solely on merit to the lowest responsible bidder, regardless of labor affiliation.
Building America: The Merit Shop Scorecard rates state laws, programs, policies and statistics to highlight those that have created the conditions for growth and identify areas where strategic improvements are needed. Criteria and definitions are available at meritshopscorecard.org.
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. Founded on the merit shop philosophy, ABC and its 70 chapters help members develop people, win work and deliver that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which ABC and its members work. Visit us at abc.org.