January 25, 2017
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – The findings from the forthcoming Columbia University report clearly documents that Black workers are far more represented in the union construction workforce (21.2 percent) than in the nonunion construction workforce (15.8 percent) in New York City.
Minorities overall now comprise 55.1 percent of NYC blue-collar construction workers.
Apprenticeships tell the future and Minorities comprised 61.8 percent of all NYC residents’ apprenticeships in 2014. This compared with 36.3 percent share in 1994. In addition Minority union construction workers earn 36.1 percent more than nonunion construction workers.
Because workers have better wages and greater employment in the union relative to the nonunion construction sector, the presence of unions and collective bargaining greatly boosts overall annual earnings of all workers. This provides a greater tax base for our city. Also these workers have more to spend in their communities. An additional benefit with union workers is safer worksites.
As the Fuchs, Warren, and Bayer report from Columbia University’s School of Public and International Affairs (SIPA) documented, there has been impressive improvements in the diversity of those being brought into the union construction sector in New York City, particularly in apprenticeship programs.