NY POST: Labor war with Hudson Yards developer could be a good thing

From The New York Post Editorial Board

The Building and Construction Trades Council is stepping up its war against the developer at Hudson Yards, Related Cos. — and the shakeout could spell good news for New Yorkers.

The latest ugliness: Union backers parked a truck with a billboard — slamming Related chief Steve Ross as racist and sexist — outside the company’s Columbus Circle headquarters and Ross’ home.

The sign called on the NFL to boot Ross, who owns the Dolphins, from its social-justice committee.

That echoed the message on banners at a recent union rally in front of the NFL’s Park Avenue HQ, which shut down traffic and led to arrests.

Calling Ross racist is rich. The charge is apparently based on allegations of bias against past Related vendors. But it’s the construction unions that have a long history of shutting out minorities.

A few years back, minority workers sued the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 14, claiming it discourages minorities from joining, but welcomes whites. Sheet Metal Union Local 28 agreed in 2015 to pay $12 million to settle another race-bias lawsuit. That year, the local NAACP warned Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera not to “mislead New Yorkers” about construction unions’ commitment to integration.

The anti-Ross protests are clearly an answer to Related’s lawsuits against the council and LaBarbera for failing to live up to the Project Labor Agreement for the first phase of the Hudson Yards work. The company says union practices violating the deal added $100 million in costs to the job.

For Phase Two, Related hopes to avoid another PLA — specifically, the guarantee that only union shops will be hired for the project. The company has already struck a separate deal with the District Council of Carpenters.

LaBarbera is battling furiously against that approach. Related, after all, is one of the city’s largest builders: If it moves to an “open shop” arrangement, other companies will follow.

The carpenters’ deal is “definitely a landmark transition,” says Anthony Rinaldi of the Associated Builders and Contractors’ New York chapter.

Indeed, over the past decade, the nonunion labor share of city construction work has risen — to as much as 70 percent of residential projects, the Real Estate Board of New York estimates.

That’s good news, since lower non-union costs are passed on to New Yorkers in the form of lower real-estate prices and rents.

LaBarbera’s decision to play the race card suggests he’s worried about the trend spreading to non-residential jobs — a shift that would be a win for the rest of the city.

Read more from The New York Post…

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

JOIN ABC

Marijuana Decriminalization to Pass, Wage Mandate Stalls

By |June 20th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

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.

Statement by Brian Sampson, President of the Associated Builders and Contractors Empire State Chapter Regarding Assemblyman Bronson’s New Prevailing Wage Bill (A.8418)

By |June 18th, 2019|Categories: ABC Press Release, News, Statewide|

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.

Empire Chapter President, Brian Sampson Discusses The Devastating Impact of The New Prevailing Wage Bill

By |June 18th, 2019|Categories: ABC Press Release, News, Statewide|

As a full-service trade [...]

What’s Pushing Prevailing Wage Into The ‘Big Ugly’

By |June 11th, 2019|Categories: ABC Press Release, Statewide|

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

By |May 23rd, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

A shortage of bids on the New York State Fairgrounds pedestrian bridge project will leave New Yorkers paying more, but getting less. When plans for the project were released with an accompanying project labor agreement (PLA), the playing field narrowed from 20 companies interested in the project to just two submitting bids, with the lowest bid coming in well in excess of $1 million over engineering estimates. Why the drastic decrease in competition and increase in costs? The answer can be found in three simple letters: PLA.

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

JOIN ABC
2018-10-16T12:02:32-04:00