A1261 Bronson/S1947 Ramos

The New York State AFL-CIO, representing 2.5 million union workers and their families, as well as our retirees and their families, supports the above referenced legislation.

The New York State constitution clearly requires prevailing rate be paid to workers on public works projects. This basic principle is intended to ensure that constitutional provisions protecting the labor rights of its citizens are respected and that taxpayer dollars are used to create meaningful jobs that strengthen our communities and economy.

Over the year’s constant ideological attacks on prevailing rate by well-funded corporate interests have resulted in legal, regulatory and legislative changes that have eroded the intent of the state’s constitutional requirement of prevailing rate.

Attempts to exempt projects that include private investment in publicly owned and/or financed facilities and a myriad of other distractions designed to deflect prevailing rate requirements have been worked into the process often creating confusion and frustration for workers and employers alike.

This bill restores the spirit and intent of the New York State Constitution and ensures that all projects receiving taxpayer resources are defined as “public works,” thus restoring the law to its original meaning and purpose. The bill will stabilize local economies and prevent unscrupulous contractors from exploiting workers by driving down pay. Furthermore, it will create additional apprenticeship opportunities, creating a path to the middle class for many more New Yorkers.

This bill will not only help working men and women get better paying jobs but will help create safer workplaces, ensure quality workmanship on public projects and hold contractors and developers accountable.

Therefore, this Federation urges this bill be passed.

For further information, contact the Legislative Department at 518-436-8516.