Saturday, December 27, 2008

Unions to start construction fund

New York construction unions, anxious to keep their members employed as building in the city slows, are exploring starting a fund to help finance real estate projects.

Ed Malloy, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council, says the unions may put $100 million of pension fund money into a fund that would fund various construction projects. However, he said the unions would seek matching funds from the city and the state to create a fund of $300 million. A proposal will be sent to government officials next year.

“As the days go on you hear about more projects with financial problems and we really want to do something to help,” said Mr. Malloy.

The unions are already negotiating with contractors in an effort to lower labor costs by up to 25%. Louis Coletti, chief executive of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, which represents contractors, estimated that labor accounts for 50% to 60% of a construction job’s cost. Union workers earn an average of $60 to $70 hour.

The hope is that lower labor costs will bring down the cost of total construction enough to make financing easier to obtain when banks begin lending again.


Construction unions may finance building projects

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its funny how most of the right is so anti union but havent done hard labor ever in there silver spoon lives.How many people die from these jobs?Way too many.A little reference below.

July 31, 2008

Right-wing anti-union groups are pouring tens of millions of dollars into an effort to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act. Front groups plan to spend upwards of $120 million on misleading advertising against pro-worker Congressional candidates in the 2008 elections.

According to reports, several anti-union front groups plan to collectively spend almost $100 million in the next year against the bill and those who support it. The breakdown is as follows (from the National Journal):

* Chamber of Commerce: $20-30 million
* Coalition for a Democratic Workplace: $30 million
* Employee Freedom Action Committee: $30 million
* Freedom's Watch: $30 million (from one anti-union contributor)
* Center for Union Facts: unknown, but in the millions

Sheldon Adelson—a major right-wing billionaire and fundraiser—recently called the Employee Free Choice Act "one of the fundamental threats to society"—the other being “radical Islam.” Adelson is vehemently anti-union, and put up $30 million of his own money into Freedom's Watch, a conservative advocacy group, as part of an effort take on Congressional candidates in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Next I suppose the illegal aliens will start a fund to finance real estate project. There's probably more of them in construction than union workers. And Bloomberg would surely endorse it.

joe a said...

get these unions the hell out they make to much money and are killing america look at the big 3 auto makers there getting 78.00 an hour w.t.f. the foron auto makers make 12.00 so lets stop the bull shit with these unions brake them

mr joe a said...

will they fund willets point to these fony pricks go to hell with your construction fund you unions do shit you take to long to finsh construction jobs ,in florida the same jobs take half the time why non union the way it should be .

faster340 said...

Unions were great back in the earlier part of the 1900's when they were started to help the workers from wickedly bad working conditions and wages. Now I think they have just gotten so greedy it's beyond what the unions were originally created for.

Anonymous said...

Unions were great back in the earlier part of the 1900's when they were started to help the workers from wickedly bad working conditions and wages. Now I think they have just gotten so greedy it's beyond what the unions were originally created for.

oboviously has never gotten from behind a keyboard and worked on an unsafe ununion job.

Queens Crapper said...

You mean like the Deutsche Bank Building? Oh, wait a minute...

Anonymous said...

As a Union Trustee, I don't think I would be carrying out my fiduciary responsibilities to my members & retirees in taking Pension Fund monies & putting them into building projects. There have been problems in the past with these types of plans. There is too much of chance of negative returns and bankruptcies by developers & builders. The membership would be able to sue the Trustees for neglience etc. Not a very good idea.

faster340 said...

Actually I have belonged to a Union. It's definitely not what its cracked up to be. They took in union dues as much as the government takes in taxes. And if you don't/can't pay you can't stay...

A friend of mine gets paid $73 an hour to push a button and maybe move a few things around at a Broadway show! To me that's a joke but hey, I don't fault him. He's just trying to get his. If I could get a job like that I probably would too and that's hardly unsafe working conditions as well...

And crappy you are so right... How about all those crane accidents this year too. Most construction jobs and such are now union jobs. All the ones where people were killed this year were union jobs. Just because it's union doesn't make it safe!!! It's people who care about their working environment and their coworkers instead of getting paid under the table is what makes it safe.

Anonymous said...

Yes the unions are not great and trhey have gotten much worse over the years but lets not forget what the alternative is.
Without unions construction workers that provide an essentail skill in inclement weather will be taken advantage of - guaranteed. Nothing will be cheaper for you but everything will be more profitable for the developers.
Meanwhile their will be more hard working middle class Americans out of work who do not have the skill sets to change their careers in mid stream and where do these middle class construction workers live and whose economy do they inject money to? Aroung 50% live in the outer boroughs in neighborhoods that go by the name of Maspeth and Glendale, Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst. The other 50% live in the suburbs.
Lets not cut off our noses to spite our face.

Wade Nichols said...

Its funny how most of the right is so anti union but havent done hard labor ever in there silver spoon lives.

Yes, and it's also ironic that the left is supposed to be so pro-union, yet at the same time they LOVE illegal immigrants who undercut the wages of union workers.

What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Uninformed Wade said....
Yes, and it's also ironic that the left is supposed to be so pro-union, yet at the same time they LOVE illegal immigrants who undercut the wages of union workers.

What's up with that?

The left does not care for illegal immigrant labor at all.You must be thinking of the rich arm chair democrats and republicans who love to make a profit by shipping jobs elsewhere.Repeat Mr Wade, the left does not like illegal immigrant labor taking jobs away and finds it atrocious how many jobs are handed to them in NYC.You are confused because every politician you have in NYC republican or democrat screws you over just like 100 years ago with the robber barrons.
The stereotypes on here sometimes are so laughable.You people you regurgitate this untrue garbage generalizations from Limbaugh and Fox news ala right wing anti worker rights really need to ask working class people in a civilized manner if your capable how they feel about having some recourse in working conditions.To the guy who said foreign auto workers make 12.00 an hour you are very wrong!Not in Germany,France,Japan,or England.

Oh Joe you are spewing the reagan mantra of union workers making sooo much money but forget every building built or infrastructure maintained is a hazard that takes lives but the union does much to make it safe.Reagan cut OSHA funding and its still not what it should be if somebody is hurt.
Also dont act like the loser bloomberg was the first to bring immigrant labor into this country when every city and state has its large share especially right leaning Texas and Florida.

Anonymous said...

Yes, and it's also ironic that the left is supposed to be so pro-union, yet at the same time they LOVE illegal immigrants who undercut the wages of union workers.

Because WeeNie said so?
I guess that makes GW Bush a leftist?

Anonymous said...

Pardon me, I beg to differ. It's the Dems calling for more relaxed immigration standards. The more voters they can register, the better off they are.

Miles Mullin said...

Pardon me, I beg to differ. It's the Dems calling for more relaxed immigration standards. The more voters they can register, the better off they are.

--------------

The Democrats have always favored immigrants - this is how the machine finds new people easy to tweed. Why do you think the machine controlled press just goes ape shit everytime Flushing Meadows is trashed with some third world festival, or a glowing tribute is written to the slum that Main Street has become.

Why everytime they write about a section in Queens the code word 'immigrant' is thrown in the first 10 words with full knowledge that mainstream America will not give that community a second glance?

Give 'em a few turkeys, make citizenship standards a joke, and they will vote for you.

Lot better than dealing with the no win quality of life issues.

(Of couse, the Republicans want the cheap labor and peasant tennents who will patentiently put up with sorry conditions and lousy services so you have a devil's agreement on both sides of the aisle never to touch the issue)

Hell Gate Kid said...

Take a look a the liberal run churches - everything is geared to the immigrants even if it means they drive away the older members.

The reality is the immigrants have less money, less attachement, and less interest so all the churches do is hasten their own decline.

Anonymous said...

*Take a look a the liberal run churches - everything is geared to the immigrants even if it means they drive away the older members.

The reality is the immigrants have less money, less attachement, and less interest so all the churches do is hasten their own decline.
What does that have to do with creating funds for union memebers?The evil left is destroying your local churches there Joe Mccarthy?The right wing billionaires love having there homes cleaned by cheap slave labor in Texas and Florida.Tom Delay sure did in Texas.

Look, a government run solely by business interests will never, ever, do anything to control immigration. Want proof of this, as well as proof of Republican hypocrisy? Here it is:

Some conservatives are labeling U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison a traitor after she slipped an amendment into the federal budget bill passed last month that some say effectively kills the border fence.
The conservative radio world and blogosphere has been buzzing with outcry that the amendment -- which removed the requirement under the Secure Fence Act for a double-layered fence and gave Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff flexibility in its placement -- did just that.

Nationally syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin decried the "incredible shrinking border fence." Others called Hutchison "Benedict Arnold" and said the Texas Republican used the "cover of Christmas" to ram the measure through.


Hutchison, while a real conservative, isn't completely insane. She is, however, solidly in the pocket of business, especially oil companies. She responds:

"Border patrol agents reported that coyotes and drug-runners were altering their routes as fencing was deployed, so the amendment gives our agents discretion to locate the fence where necessary to achieve operational control of our border," she said.

Customs and Border Protection said it is committed to building the fence and this week announced plans to take legal action against 102 border landowners, including 71 in Texas who were not letting federal workers on their land to survey the areas.


Wait a minute. Who are the 71 landowners who refuse to let surveyors onto their land? Are they bleeding-hear libs, who welcome illegals with open arms?

Unlike other border states, much of the land on the Texas border is privately owned.

Local business leaders and politicians were incensed to learn in May that a map was already circulating showing a fence that could cut farmers from water, wildlife from habitat and cities from the river.

Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, said Hutchison wrote a good amendment that will allow environmental and property right concerns in border communities to be considered.

"It gives flexibility to the secretary to look at alternative means," he said.

Texas landowners just see themselves in the middle.

In Granjeno, residents say they have not gotten any threatening letters and are hopeful the government has decided not to cut through their town.

Landowner Eloisa Garcia Tamez, a professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville, said she'll fight to the end to keep the government off the last of her ancestors' 1767 land grant.


No, it's folks, some of whom might be truly conservative, who think, somewhat foolishly, that they actually have control over their own land. And that according to the Constitution's 5th Amendment:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.


Probably communists or something. After all, a true conservative would gladly give up all their rights to support Fearless Leader's Global War on Whoever He Says We're Fighting Today.

Seriously, unless the fence is the equal to China's Great Wall, it's stopping no one. If someone is willing to hike hundreds of miles to the border, they'll likely hike 10 or 20 miles around the small piece of fence blocking their path:

Fence supporters, meanwhile, feel the Department of Homeland Security has gradually been reneging on the plan, with initial plans for 854 miles of double-layered fencing in five locations whittled to 370 miles of what may be single-layered fencing, Kasper said.

Almost two years after the bill passed, only 5.2 miles more of double-layer fence has been built, in Arizona, with 70 more miles single-layered, he said.


Indeed. And the silliness of the whole fence movement is like trying to stop kids from grabbing candy from a burst piƱata; as long as it's there, they'll dive and grab for it:

As one person in Arizona noted, 'It looks like entering the US through the desert as undocumented immigrants is some kind of employment screening test administered by the US government for the hospitality, construction and recreation industries.'

Willing to work at the most dangerous jobs, an immigrant a day will also die in the work place, even while for others the work place has become safer over the last decade."

Anonymous said...

How has the GWBush administration taken Big Business on regarding illegal hiring?

In 1999, under President Bill Clinton, the US government collected $3.69 million in fines from 890 companies for employing undocumented workers. In 2004, under President George Bush, the federal government collected $188,500 from 64 companies for such illegal employment practices. And in 2004, the Bush Administration levied NO fines for US companies employing undocumented workers.


And this:

The Bush administration, which is vowing to crack down on U.S. companies that hire illegal workers, virtually abandoned such employer sanctions before it began pushing to overhaul U.S. immigration laws last year, government statistics show.

Between 1999 and 2003, work-site enforcement operations were scaled back 95 percent by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which subsequently was merged into the Homeland Security Department. The number of employers prosecuted for unlawfully employing immigrants dropped from 182 in 1999 to four in 2003, and fines collected declined from $3.6 million to $212,000, according to federal statistics.

In 1999, the United States initiated fines against 417 companies. In 2004, it issued fine notices to three.


In other words, total and complete hypocrisy, and capitulation to the wishes of big business. Perhaps those in the investor class who feel immigration is a problem should take a look at their portfolios:

In March 2005, Wal-Mart, a company with $285 billion in annual sales. was fined $11 million for having untold hundreds of illegal immigrants nationwide clean its stores.

"The federal government boasts it's the largest of its kind. But for Wal-Mart, it amounts to a rounding error---and no admittance of wrongdoing since it claims it didn't know its contractors hired the illegals" wrote the Christian Science Monitor on March 28, 2005.

And inside the Republican Party, are they really true believers?

Major work-site crackdowns have run into trouble in the past. A spring 1998 sweep that targeted the Vidalia onion harvest in Georgia, and Operation Vanguard, a 1999 clampdown on meatpacking plants in Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota, provide case studies of how the government fared when confronted by a coalition that included low-wage immigrant workers and the industries that hire them, analysts said.

The Georgia raids netted 4,034 illegal immigrants, prompting other unauthorized workers to stay home. As the $90 million onion crop sat in the field, farmers "started screaming to their local representatives," said Bart Szafnicki, INS assistant district director for investigations in Atlanta from 1991 to 2001.

Georgia's two senators and three of its House members, led by then-Sen. Paul Coverdell (R) and Rep. Jack Kingston (R), complained in a letter to Washington that the INS did not understand the needs of America's farmers. The raids stopped.

Queens Crapper said...

You can always count on Queens assholes to take local problems and blame them on the president instead of the local tweeders.

Anonymous said...

Queens Crapper said...

You can always count on Queens assholes to take local problems and blame them on the president instead of the local tweeders.

Excuse Me?Didnt a few people like Joe and Wade get way off topic and just blame every problem created in NYC with labor on democrats or left leaning people?What is the president for the last 8 years responsible for???Nothing?Anything.
Favoring large corporations and there tax cuts as did bush sr and Reagan while they blame union workers for making too much while they make 43million a year at Ford for one CEO. >>>>>>
joe a said...

>>> get these unions the hell out they make to much money and are killing america look at the big 3 auto makers there getting 78.00 an hour w.t.f. the foron auto makers make 12.00 so lets stop the bull shit with these unions brake them

Leave it to some Queens asshole(back at you) to not know his or her history...at all and stray off topic going out of there way to rip on unions when they have been blinded by filthy rich CEO'S and Fox news telling them who to blame.Hey you had comments early on here quick to start babbling immigrant's and democrats that was hilarious.Both sides, especially good ol boy conservatives love there cheap farm picking labor.Once again and others on here should realise too that foreign auto workers make more than 12.00 an hr unless your refering to the newer non union Korean car making factories in the south of the U.S.
Just to clarify about the wage of union workers:
Dave Stancliff/As It Stands/For the Times-Standard

Where did the lie come from that Detroit's auto workers get paid $70 an hour?

It was started by Andrew Ross Sorkin, a financial columnist for the New York Times. He made this comment in a November 2008 column: "The average (auto) worker is paid about $70 an hour, including health care and pension costs."

Sorkin suggested that the Big Three automakers should not be bailed out, because their workers enjoyed "gold-plated benefits." What came next is either a conservative conspiracy, or an example of how misleading information can affect important issues of the day.

On an NPR broadcast a week later, Times senior business correspondent Micheline Maynard told listeners the "hourly wage" of Detroit's union auto workers had been driven up "towards $80 an hour."

This information is clearly wrong. The workers make a base pay of $28 an hour (see UAW Web site), and the larger number -- whether $70 or more -- is based upon all their benefits and pensions. These details aren't pointed out by the conservative media. More important, Sorkin has made no effort to correct this misleading information or any reproduction.

The magical number of $70 an hour does come from somewhere. It's the total cost GM has given, on an hourly basis, to manufacture autos.

There's a big distinction between workers getting $70 an hour, and the $70 an hour it costs the company to make a vehicle. GM's production costs are not synonymous with hourly wages earned by UAW employees.

It seems to me, in the pursuit of truth, these kinds of errors should be corrected before they get out of hand. However, it may be already too late to set the record straight.
Some media outlets have been casual and sloppy in presenting the facts. They give news consumers the false impression that GM workers pocket $70 an hour. So what's going on? Does an outrageous amount like $70 get attention? Does it make a good headline? You bet it does. When you're busy competing for readers, you want a "good" headline.

Anonymous said...

A word of advice: No one reads comments that are written like short stories. Either mail your diatribe into City Journal for publication or keep it short.

Shitty Architect said...

As an architect practicing in New York City, I can testify that construction unions are avoided like the plague by all clients and architects unless they are forced to use them. Nobody who has to deal with them on a regular basis likes them. A former employer of mine was a leftist/Chomskyite; he REFUSED to have anything to do with them on the grounds that they charged his clients twice as much and did the same level of mediocre work as the non-union fellows. Sad, but true.