Battle over licensing changes erupts in wake of fatal crane accident

April 11, 2012 02:00PM

Following last week’s fatal crane accident at the No. 7 train construction site, a new battle over modifying the licensing requirements of crane operators has ensued between the real estate industry and union representing crane operators, the New York Times reported. At the “urging” of the real estate industry, the city has proposed enacting a national license that includes strict requirements for crane operators working in New York City.

This conflict is similar to a March clash between the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building Trades Employers’ Association over this very change to the rule. The dispute centered on REBNY’s surprise to discover that BTEA would no longer show opposition to a union effort against new licensing proposals.

Department of Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri proposed new rules in December that defined national standards for licensing. in order to obtain a license, there would be a required 40-hour course on city regulations as well as at least two years of experience working in New York or in a similarly-dense city, according to the Times.

Local 14 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, a union that almost all licensed crane operators belong to, sees the proposed regulations as a way to destabilize their hold on crane work. [NYT]