Building Trades, Features, Health and Safety, Law and Politics, New York

State Funded Construction Projects Must Require Living Wage

March 31, 2019

By Stephanie West

Albany, N.Y.  – The New York State Legislature is considering legislation to ensure the payment of a standard living wage for all state-supported construction projects.

“The Legislature has a simple decision to make: do blue-collar workers deserve an honest day’s pay for an honest day’s work, or do developers deserve to grow their bottom-lines using our tax dollars?” asked Michael Hellstrom, Assistant Business Manager of the Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York. “This is about ensuring our tax dollars are no longer used to line the pockets of out-of-state contractors who exploit workers and drive wages down. The clock is ticking and construction workers need to know what the Legislature’s decision will be.”

A1261/S1947 will bring New York onto equal footing with neighboring states New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, who each have the public works policy already codified in law. Most legislators in New York State  are now in favor that when taxpayer dollars are invested – a prevailing wage provision must be attached. Workers must be paid a fair wage.

“Public subsidies must come with public responsibility,” said Joseph Azzopardi, Business Manager of New York StateDistrict Council 9 IUPAT, Painters and Allied Trades. “The public work legislation is a common-sense solution to ensure taxpayer-funded subsidies finally have a responsibility to the construction workers on the projects these dollars support. Now is our strongest moment to accomplish this policy for New York’s construction workers, another day of delay will be an additional giveaway to real estate interests.”

March 31, 2019

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