Legislative & Political

BAC New York Members Bring Masonry Exposition to State Legislators

Journal: Issue 3 - 2017

 


New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, left, and New York State Director of Apprenticeship Jane Thompson laying block at the Masonry Exposition.

New York’s construction sector is under assault by unscrupulous developers and contractors that reap enormous profits while paying workers subsistence wages with no training and no benefits. The state experienced 246 construction fatalities between 2011 and 2015 with a steadily increasing number of deaths each year (approximately 75%-80% of which in any given year were non-union workers). It is time to reinforce prevailing wage and benefits laws to stabilize wages and working conditions across the state’s construction industry.


Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato of the 23rd Assembly District laying brick under a watchful eye of BAC Local 1 New York member Earl Stevens.

On June 13th, BAC leaders and members of New York Locals including Local 1 NY, Local 7 NY and Local 2 NY/VT, organized a Masonry Exposition at the State Capitol building in Albany, NY to present the highest quality skills of the masonry trades to the public and elected officials. In addition to demonstrating hands-on bricklaying and tile setting along with displays of stone, marble, concrete masonry unit block, plaster and rain screen, they had productive conversations with elected officials on supporting legislation A5498/S2975.

Legislation A5498/S2975 redefines “public work” under NY’s Labor Law Section 220, to close various loopholes so that prevailing wage and benefit requirements will follow and attach to all government subsidized construction. It would support good middle class wages and benefits for construction workers, including BAC members on public projects.

BAC Local 1 New York President Jeremiah Sullivan Jr. said, “To build a safer industry, we need union masonry and we need to hold our elected officials accountable. Given the increasing fatalities in our industry, our elected officials must act to stop providing government subsidies for construction without requirements for prevailing wages and benefits.”


Assembly member David Weprin of the 24th Assembly District sharpening his tile setting techniques.

 


From left, BAC Local 3 New York Training Coordinator Jason ReQua, apprentice Curtis Monroe, New York State Senator Joseph Robach, apprentice Amber Kenyon, and Local 3 New York President Anthony DiPerna.

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