Legislative Alert – June 12, 2017

President’s Message

Support American Manufacturing as an End of Session Priority

Both houses of the legislature and the governor have introduced legislation to enact stronger laws requiring that when taxpayer dollars are used on public works projects we try to use American made iron and steel products to the greatest extent possible. Both houses have also included these provisions in their one-house budget proposals over the last two years and public support for strengthening Buy American is through the roof.

It is now time to act. Several other states have recently passed legislation, including Texas and New Jersey and others such as Maryland and Oregon have enacted laws. The federal government has always required this on federally funded projects.

The law is nothing new and it is not penal or relatable in any way to any other nation. The law would simply help American manufacturers that pay their workers decent wages and adhere to environmental and labor standards to be able to compete with international companies that have no such costs to build into their products. In fact, some nations are known to manipulate their currency, do not abide by any fair and free trade rules and some are state owned, meaning the playing field is not level and United State manufacturers cannot compete in their own backyard.

More importantly, the public supports Buy American because it is ultimately the taxpayers who fund our roads, bridges and infrastructure. Voters are the ones demanding that we maximize the jobs return on our tax investments to create not only good construction jobs, but also manufacturing jobs.

We urge both houses and the Governor to pass Buy American now, so we can keep New Yorkers and workers across the nation working.

 

Mario Cilento, President

Call To Action

LABOR LOBBYISTS MEETING
Monday, June 12, 2017, 1:00 p.m.

100 South Swan Street, Albany, NY

Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon will address the lobbyists.

Issue of the Week

Protect Workers at Nuclear Power Facilities (A8173/S6127)

This bill amends various sections of the Labor Law to enhance the WARN ACT as it applies to employers operating nuclear power plants in the state. Specially, the bill would require: the operators to provide the Department of Labor with a detailed plan of closure 18 months prior to such closure; one year’s notice of employment loss to employees of the plant; and health screenings and retraining programs for the workers.

Developments in the energy sector combined with political and economic pressures on nuclear power plants have created unstable markets and forced uncertainty in many local communities with power plant operations. Recently, all the state’s largest operators, including Indian Point in Westchester County, the James A. Fitzpatrick Plant in Oswego County and the Ginna Plant in Wayne County were slated either for closure, sale and/or downsizing because of this instability.

These plants are not only the biggest employers in the local areas but they are a critical contributor to the local tax base, economy and energy infrastructure. The workers, local communities and businesses all deserve a methodical, rational approach to any major closures or downsizing’s. This bill will help smooth the impact on local communities as well as help workers find new employment and prepare themselves and their families for the impact of job loss.

Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be passed.

 

For further information contact Mike Neidl at 518-436-8516 or by email information@nysaflcio.org

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