Despite a rapid expansion in the merit shop, also known as open-shop, construction labor force throughout New York City, workers lacked a voice to advocate on behalf of their interests regarding policies, non-union training programs and barriers to entry instituted by union officials. The Construction Workforce Project (CWP) seeks to fill that void by educating both the public, elected officials and other community stakeholders about the benefits of merit shop construction while advancing initiatives that align with the broader needs of communities of color and other underrepresented minorities in the New York City region.
Specifically, CWP’s targeted policy objectives focus on initiatives that increase access to merit shop jobs in the city and policies that streamline construction work to repair and fortify our public housing and public transit infrastructure. Ultimately, our belief is that any legislation which restricts an individual’s ability to work in their industry of choice is detrimental to local job growth. With more than 70 percent of the merit shop workforce being Black or Latino, our role in bettering these communities’ work opportunities is critical to pushing back on union excesses and securing the future of these workers.