Ball: Don’t balance this budget on the backs of blue collar New Yorkers!
Photo: Teamsters Local 456 President Edward Doyle, Jr, president of Construction Industry Council Ross Pepe, Assemblyman Greg Ball, and dozens of union members assemble outside the Westchester County Office Building in White Plains, NY, to sign a letter to Governor Paterson.
Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) joined with officers and members of the Building and Construction Trade Council of Westchester and Putnam Counties, New York and the Construction Industry Council of Westchester & Hudson Valley, Inc. to sign a joint letter to Governor Paterson, expressing their disappointment with the amended changes to Wick’s Law contained in the Governor’s proposed 2010-2011 Budget, ultimately ripping jobs out of the hands of the Hudson Valley’s working families.
“We refuse to allow this Governor to balance the budget on the backs of blue collar New Yorkers,” Ball said. “Worker protections dating back to 1912, put in place to promote fair competition and to protect workers’ rights are being cannibalized. Reform is necessary, but this single action will immediately force hundreds of families out of work and ultimately sacrifice safety, fair wages, and training for electricians, plumbers, HVAC, and general construction workers throughout the Hudson Valley.”
The Governor’s proposed 2010-2011 budget repeals Wick’s Law for School District Construction Projects without also requiring a Project Labor Agreement (PLA). PLAs have been used throughout the Hudson Valley by Putnam and Westchester Counties, as well as the Pleasantville School District, to save taxpayers upwards of 30% on each project.
“If you want to save tax dollars by reducing corruption and collusion in the construction industry, the last thing you do is eliminate the laws that keep people honest. IBEW Local Union #3 opposes any effort to repeal the amended Wick’s Law. Advocates of repeal are less concerned about solving New York State’s fiscal crisis then they are about their need for personal gains,” said Paul Ryan, Business Manager, IBEW Local Union #3.
“IBEW Local Union 363 is in favor fo the Wick’s Law and PLA because they assure local people who live in the community will go to work. It will assure that the community will get a project done on time and within the budget. This has been proven on numerous PLA projects,” said John Maraia, Business Manager, IBEW Local Union 363.
“Local 60 is in full support of Project Labor Agreements as they have proven to benefit taxpaying citizens of government entities allowing them to gain a public improvement project that is much more likely to be completed on time, within budget and with quality construction that utilizes local residences,” said Carlos Ascencao, Business Manager Laborers’ International Union of NA, Local No. 60.
“Local 21 is in favor of Project Labor Agreements because they avoid strikes and picketing and provide employment at a decent wage and health and retirement benefits for local area residents,” said Robert Philp, Business Manager, Plumbers/Steamfitters/HVACR Service, Local 21.
See more photos from the press conference.