The Real Deal New York

LaBarbera: “Lou Coletti never saw a microphone that he didn’t like”

The union bosses clash over open-shop labor
July 10, 2017 11:30AM

BTEA President and CEO Lou Coletti and Union boss Gary LaBarbera

Union boss Gary LaBarbera fired back at Lou Coletti on Friday, saying the Building Trades Employers’ Association’s president exaggerated the dominance of open-shop labor in the city.

Last week, Coletti told the Construction & Realty Services Group that the BTEA is increasingly embracing open-shop companies as a majority of its general contractors and construction managers turn to nonunion labor. In later interviews with Politico, he specified that he was referring to residential construction.

But LaBarbera  who is president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said it was “factually impossible” that a majority of the BTEA’s contractors are working in the residential market, which makes up 30 percent of new construction in the city. He noted that Coletti told him a few months ago that he’s “100 percent behind the unionized trades.”

“Lou Coletti never saw a microphone that he didn’t like, and this is vintage Lou Coletti, who says whatever comes into his mind as he panders to whatever audience he is speaking to,” LaBarbera said. “Generally when he speaks, it is factless and baseless.” [Politico]Kathryn Brenzel