Building Trades

Population Gains Downtown Manhattan and Far West Side

March 30, 2011
By Jeremy Smerd
A decade ago, it would have been hard to imagine that New Yorkers would be moving to the financial district for the school, Or that in Williamsburg the phrase "bridge and tunnel crowd" would refer to people from Manhattan.

Construction Unions Are Losing Their Market Share of New Building Projects

March 25, 2011
By Harry Kelber

New York City’s construction unions, that controlled more than 90 percent of the building industry’s jobs throughout most of the 20th century, have lost a significant market share of the $20 to $30 billion spent annually on erecting new buildings and repairing old ones.

While there are no official statistics, two out of five (about 40 percent) construction jobs in the city are said to be built non union, although unions put the number at one to four (25 percent). Competition between unionized companies and their non union rivals became intense during the economic recession, when there was a decline in available new construction projects.

LaBarbera Honored at Latino Heritage Event

Gary LaBarbera, Buiding and Construction Trades Council PresidentMarch 15, 2011
By Vanessa Elena DeSantis

About 200 guests dined and danced to pulsing Latin beats at Terrace on the Park, a capacious banquet hall overlooking Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, N.Y.

The Latino Heritage Dance was held on Friday March 4th. The evening event celebrated Latino heritage as well as honored Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. The event also raised funds for the Latino Laborer Cultural Association. The Mason Tenders District Council and its affiliated local unions created the non profit organization in 2007, to provide activities and events for Latino union members.

Delgado Honored by ANOROC Democratic Club

March 15, 2011
By Vanessa DeSantis

Policymakers and grassroots organizers had a chance to mingle at the ANOROC Democratic Club’s 82nd Anniversary Dinner Dance, on the evening of Thursday March the 3rd. Local 79’s business manager John Delgado received a special achievement award at the fundraising event.

“Throughout his career John has been an advocate for the rights of all workers, especially immigrant workers,” said a spokesperson for the ANOROC club.

LIUNA Members Get Educated

By BendiJohn Delgado, Local 79 Business Manager & Anthony Williamson, Local 79 Auditorx Anderson
January 5, 2011

Anthony Williamson got a surprise in his mailbox this December -- a personal letter signed by Terence M. O’Sullivan, general president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). 

The note congratulated Williamson and 40 other LIUNA members for completing a bachelor's degree in labor studies. Williamson also received an orange sash to celebrate his degree.

Williamson, an organizer for Construction & General Building Laborers' Local 79, earned his degree through a joint program of Cornell University and the National Labor College. Most of the classes were held in Midtown Manhattan at Cornell's extension school, though some of his coursework required travel to distant parts of New York State. In 2003 he graduated from Cornell University with a Certificate in Labor Studies as well as the National Labor College with a Degree in Labor Studies.  In 2007, Williamson received a Certificate from the Cornell University Leadership Institute for Union Leadership.

He wrote his thesis on the need for union leadership to reflect the diversity of union membership. "We are a union of immigrants," Williamson said. "We started with immigrants over a hundred years ago."

A Training Center at Work - Public Housing Tenant Fixes Public Housing

Devon McLeod, Member of Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers, Local 1, NYBy Bendix Anderson & William E. Nagel
December 6, 2010

Devon McLeod carefully brushed loose mortar from the bricks of the Woodside Houses in Queens - one of 334 public housing projects managed by the NYC Housing Authority.   McLeod is a first-year apprentice “pointer, cleaner caulker” in Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Local 1 and is learning the basics of exterior masonry restoration or PCC work.  He takes free training classes at the BACIU’s International Masonry Institute in Long Island City and trains on-the-job with his current employer Town Masonry Corp.
Currently, McLeod not only repairs public housing, he lives in the Louis Armstrong Houses in Brooklyn.  McLeod’s opportunity to join BAC Local 1 came about this year for two main reasons:  first, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act resulted in a massive influx of federal money to repair NYCHA’s aging housing inventory; and second, NYCHA maintains a rule that at least 15 percent of a contractor’s employees on any NYCHA rehab project must be current residents of public housing.  McLeod worked hard to become one of those 15%. "I always wanted to do construction," he said. "It's a career."

Unions Got Out the Vote

By Bendix Anderson
November 3, 2010

Unions marshaled their might to get out the vote for election day, November 2 -- and candidates promise to return the favor.

"The partnership I have had with the union movement is very important to me," said Tom DiNapoli, Democratic candidate for New York State Comptroller, speaking to hundreds of union members representing the building trades at the Manhattan headquarters of District Council 9 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT).

Rallying in Solidarity, Building Trades Stand Tall

By Harrison Magee
November 1, 2010

New York, NY-- Thousands of union members and allies packed the streets of Midtown on October 24, to rally in solidarity with all the men and women of New York City’s building trades. The event, which was organized by the Building and Construction Trades Council of NY, brought together scores of the city’s most talented workforces, which voiced their pride, unity and resolve as they continue to confront economic and political threats to decent, sustainable employment.

“Everything we have, we owe to our unions,” said BCTC representative Gary LaBarbera in his introduction. “But there are still nonunion contractors who do not care about dignity.” Leading the struggle to create and maintain good jobs for the threatened middle class, LaBarbera declared that, “Today, we draw a line in the sand.”

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