Affordable developers express interest in union wage proposal

Plan would see builders pay some workers 40 percent less than average union wages
September 04, 2014 12:10PM

In a letter to union leaders, affordable housing developers proposed opening discussions on a plan that would see some organized construction workers accept lower wages for work on below-market rate housing.

The correspondence moves forward the possibility that developers will use more union labor on the construction of affordable units. The Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York announced the proposal last month. It would allow developers to pay some union workers 40 percent less than average union wages.

Now, the New York State Association for Affordable Housing is ready to discuss the plan with the council, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Some sticking points have already emerged. In the letter, Jolie Milstein, president and CEO of the association, raised questions about whether union leader Gary Labarbera can marshal support for the plan among member unions, and whether the council is also willing to accept concessions on benefits, according to the newspaper. [WSJ]Tom DiChristopher