The City Council plans to introduce a revised construction safety bill this week that would require 40 hours of safety training, down from the previously suggested number of 59 hours.
If the Council does indeed introduce the bill this week, it could be approved before Election Day in November, Politico reported. That would ease some of the criticism that the city’s construction unions have hurled toward Mayor Bill de Blasio for the better part of his first term.
But it would make the mayor no new friends in the real estate industry, with which he has enjoyed a relative peace that has served his administration’s policies, if not his political campaigning.
The Real Estate Board of New York has long opposed the mandated training component of the construction safety bill, and called the 59-hour figure arbitrary. The real estate industry sees the training requirement as a power grab by the city’s trade unions, which have the infrastructure set up to provide the training.
REBNY also says the training requirement will do little to protect the kinds of workers who suffer the most injuries on the job – immigrant and nonunion hard hats – who cannot afford to take time off to fulfill the training requirements.
Lawmakers on the Council had tried to rush the bill through, but couldn’t get one introduced on time to vote ahead of last week’s primary elections. Getting the bill passed before the November election is no given, though, as the bill has been delayed several times. [Politico] – Rich Bockmann