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421-a is a-okay with Prevailing Wage

Brian Young's picture
Jun 15, 2015

On Friday, the NYS AFL-CIO announced that they have unanimously adopted a resolution calling for a prevailing wage for all workers to be included in the 421-a projects.  This would include not just workers servicing the buildings when they are built, but also the workers who build the new housing.  The mayor has sought to divide labor by only supporting a prevailing wage for the permanent positions created after these buildings are constructed.  421-a is a tax credit for developers that build affordable housing. Below is the press release from the NYS AFL-CIO.

Labor Unanimously Adopts Resolution Supporting Prevailing Wages For All Workers On 421-A Projects

The Executive Council of the New York State AFL-CIO has unanimously adopted a resolution supporting prevailing wage for all workers on 421-a projects, including the men and women who provide services in the buildings and the men and women who construct the buildings.

The resolution’s passage brings together public sector, private sector and building trades unions in a united front to ensure that when tax breaks are given out to developers, then those benefiting from the tax breaks have an obligation to provide good, solid, middle-class jobs in return.

“Today’s vote by our Executive Council sends a powerful message,” said Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO.  “The labor movement is speaking with one very clear voice that there must be a return on the taxpayer’s investment, and in this case that return for giving developers more than $1 billion a year in tax breaks needs to be the creation of good jobs.”

The 421-a program is costing taxpayers billions and if allowed to continue as is, will drive down wages in the construction industry and lower the standard of living for all workers. Including prevailing wage on 421-a projects benefits the city and the state by providing working men and women the ability to support local businesses. That in turn will generate tax revenue to support vital and quality public services that all New Yorkers expect and deserve.

“We are united in siding with taxpayers, those in need of affordable housing, and hard-working men and women in fighting for good jobs,” said Cilento.  “Our elected leaders have an opportunity to make history by taking meaningful action to address income inequality and help lift the middle class.”

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