We Can’t Fix NYCHA With Union Workers Alone

From Crain’s New York Business 

In his op-ed “Break tradition to save Nycha,” Carlo Scissura, the president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, proposes a unique solution to ease the massive financial burden of rehabilitating New York City’s public housing: market-rate development on Housing Authority land. While the idea is respectable, there’s one factor that must be considered to shield taxpayers from another costly burden.

If the city were to implement Scissura’s strategy, it’s crucial that projects not be subject to the use of a project labor agreement. A PLA is a pre-hire agreement with labor organizations requiring that the workforce comes from the local hiring hall.

Using PLAs virtually eliminates competition for the unions, ensuring their contractors win the work. Certainly, increased competition would ensure more projects were completed because it leads to lower bids.

Those who favor organized labor will argue that PLAs are a cost-saving measure. That’s simply false. They will point to pre-construction studies that use an antiquated labor model created to demonstrate that the PLA will save money. However, the outdated model fails to accommodate for the massive changes in the construction industry over the past few decades. Let’s also keep in mind that New York doesn’t require a post-PLA study to investigate if the alleged savings were actually realized. The reason is simple. Labor savings never materialize—and their proponents don’t want you to know that.

To fix our public housing crisis, we need a remedy, not another financial injury. New York is home to thousands of trained and skilled merit-shop workers who take pride in their work and in their city. These workers stand ready to make sure New Yorkers get the most out of their dollar.

Amanda Bertram

Vice President of Public Affairs

Associated Builders & Contractors, Empire State Chapter

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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.

Another Voice: Benefits Add Hidden Costs to Prevailing Wage Projects

By |May 22nd, 2019|Categories: Statewide, Uncategorized|

Let’s not be fooled. Proponents of the expansion of prevailing wage are already doing great damage to taxpayers. They shouldn’t be allowed to ruin what little positive job growth we now have in New York.

Trade War: Find Out How The Tariffs Are Impacting New York Businesses and Consumers

By |May 17th, 2019|Categories: Federal Update, News, Statewide|

“What’s clear is that some contractors will have to deal with cost overruns that they can’t pass on to their customers,” said Brian Sampson, president of the Associated Builders & Contractors of New York. “But in most cases, the increased cost of the tariffs will be passed on to customers resulting in more expensive construction projects or higher costs for capital goods.”

First JCC Trades Training Class Graduates; Honored by Officials

By |May 13th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide, Uncategorized|

The first class to complete the intensive 10-week, 40-hour construction training course offered by Jefferson Community College was celebrated at a recognition ceremony Friday at the Lewis County JCC Education Center.

Engineer Didn’t Prove That PLAs Save Money

By |April 24th, 2019|Categories: News, Statewide|

The PLA study, which cost Ogdensburg taxpayers $21,000, purports that with a series of false savings, labor consolidation and “management rights,” the project will save money. Yet no one challenged the study’s creator, Tim Seeler of Seeler Engineering, to positively prove those savings will be achieved. They also never asked him about the negative impact the lack of competition will have on the bidding process. They simply rubber-stamped the study and closed the door on local contractors and their employees.

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2018-10-25T15:38:14-04:00