Regional Plan Association, a prominent civic advocacy group, is supporting builders and real estate executives in appealing for concessions from construction unions, the New York Times reported. Labor costs, the advocates argue, will force builders to hire non-union employees.
The association compiled a 51-page report arguing for the elimination of obsolete work rules and feather-bedding and advocating for a traditional eight-hour work day. The expiration of 30 union contacts in June marks an opportunity for reform in the $25 billion unionized industry, they say.
This comes less than three weeks after 400 union construction workers protested outside the Taj Pierre Hotel as Sam Zell, founder of Equity Residential Properties, arrived for a speaking engagement. They were unhappy that Zell uses non-union workers.
Members of the association were scheduled to present the report to Deputy Mayors Stephen Goldsmith and Robert Steel today, and the Building Trades Employers’ Association has mounted an advertising campaign appealing to union workers to agree to the concessions. [NYT]