As the legislative session enters its final days, serious concerns remain regarding legislation to redefine public works and expand prevailing wage mandates in New York’s construction industry. Recent closed-door negotiations over the bill have not addressed these concerns.
We ask you to recognize the changing tides of the construction workforce, and provide more resources totrain, employ and protect New Yorkers of color in the construction industry, regardless of whether or not they are part of a union.
For decades, unions have erected barriers for minorities in New York seeking access to jobs in the construction trade.
La gran mayoría de las metas legislativas del presupuesto estatal para el 2019 fueron aprobadas por la legislatura de Nueva York, incluyendo la prohibición de bolsas de plástico, la introducción de precios de congestión y nuevos impuestos de mansión.
Almost all of the reported legislative goals of the 2019 New York State budget passed— a plastic bag ban, congestion pricing, and a mansion tax. However, noticeably missing from this year’s budget was a prevailing wage expansion.
Open shop workers are the silent majority in New York’s construction workforce. In fact, approximately 70% of private developments in the city are now being built by these workers. And as the use of open shop expands, more New Yorkers of color are working more than ever before.
If there’s one thing that New Yorkers can agree on, it’s that we should always strive to create new jobs, not take them away. Amazon’s recent decision to withdraw its planned “HQ2” from Long Island City is an example of us failing on this front.
If the deal is to be salvaged, Amazon and New York officials need to do all they can to address local concerns and deliver jobs for local workers.
We at Construction Workforce Project firmly believe that longtime Brooklynites should benefit from the rapid pace of development, which can only truly happen if construction job opportunities are made available to local residents.
A recently announced diversity initiative by the Associated General Contractors of America is an encouraging step forward. However, open shop workers in New York City need much more support from our elected officials in order to achieve real gains for men and women of color in our industry.