NYC Labor Deals With Unions Affirmed By Appeals Court

NYC Labor Deals With Unions Affirmed By Appeals Court

8/26/2011

 

A Manhattan judge has ruled that the labor agreement of the city of New York with fifty unions is not in violation of the federal labor law. The city said that this court ruling will pave the way to finally finish some $6 billion worth of infrastructure projects.

Two construction trade groups last year challenged the labor agreement. These two trade groups were the United Electrical Contractors Association and the Building Industry Electrical Contractors Association.

In the lawsuit they filed which challenged the legality of the accord, they claimed that the city, rather than working to get the best deal for the taxpayers, was instead using the agreements to write its own labor regulations for the projects. The two trade groups also alleged that the city handpicked favored contractors and unions for the majority of the work.

However, in a decision which was handed down Thursday, Judge Robert Patterson, the U.S. Southern District Judge, sided with the city of New York.

In his decision, Judge Patterson stated, “Plaintiffs have failed to show that the city’s decision to engage in these project labor agreements with Building and Construction Trades Council was motivated by anything other than its interest in managing its construction projects in an efficient manner at a manageable cost.”

The deal, which was signed by the city and the Council in 2009, covers a broad range of public infrastructure projects, which include a larger 911 call center and a new police academy.

Signed in 2009 by the city and the Council — which represents about 50 construction unions, the deals cover a range of public infrastructure projects, including a new police academy and a larger 911 call center.

WRITTEN BY:

blakeh@wellsdrew.com