The Real Deal New York

Mark-Viverito backs bill that would mandate more training for construction workers

LaBarbera’s proposal to hit Council floor soon
December 16, 2016 02:00PM

Rendering of the Domino Sugar factory conversion and Melissa Mark-Viverito

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito indicated support for a bill that would mandate training programs for construction workers at tall projects.

Meeting union leaders ahead of a vigil for a construction worker who plunged to his death at Two Trees Development’s Domino Sugar project, she called the accident a failure by the city.

“This is about the training that is offered to workers, which is something the unions have pointed to — that many of the workers are not prepared,” she told Politico Thursday. “So we are looking at how we can improve those working conditions in the area of construction.”

Union boss Gary LaBarbera has been pushing a law that would require construction workers at 10-story-plus buildings to undergo an apprenticeship program. Mark-Viverito said Thursday that she expects City Council to hold hearings on the proposed law in the coming weeks.

REBNY President John Banks criticized LaBarbera’s proposal.

“The answer to improving safety needs to be based on practical suggestions rooted in empirical evidence, rather than efforts to preserve market share that will result in a substantial loss of construction jobs,” he told Politico.

LaBarbera’s Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York spent the better part of the past two years arguing with REBNY over whether prevailing wages should be required at 421a developments. The two sides finally reached a deal last month.  [Politico]Konrad Putzier