Crane operator regulations dispute gets ugly

April 09, 2012 11:30AM

Last week’s crane accident on the Far West Side, which killed one construction worker, has sparked a debate over the control of crane operators — who will hire them and how they will be vetted, the New York Post reported. The union slammed Mayor Michael Bloomberg, saying he is defending the pocket books of “his super-rich developer friends,” by allowing new New York City Department of Buildings regulations that would allow additional crane operators to work in the city, in a statement.

“It’s evident that the real issue here is the drive to reduce labor costs, even if it reduces New Yorkers’ safety,” Eddie Christian, president of the union, told the Post.

The DOB has proposed new regulations that would allow any tower crane operator in another large city to work in New York City after 40 hours of training, while Local 14 of the International Union of Operating Engineers wants the city to continue administering the crane-operator test and not recognize outside licenses, the Post said.

“For all intents and purposes, the union controls who gets a license right now,” a source told the Post. [Post]