May 1, 2012
DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS ISSUES NEW CRANE LICENSING RULES
The New York City Department of Buildings (NYCDOB) recently issued new rules governing the licensing of crane operators in New York City. The new rules will give the Buildings Commissioner the discretion to permit crane operators who have worked in other urban areas the ability to be licensed in New York if they met other requirements such as completing a 40 hour course. In addition, the NYCDOB would require a licensing exam that meets national standards. This new rule is being opposed by Local 14, which has developed legislation currently co-sponsored by 39 members of the City Council.
PORT AUTHORITY, 9/11 MUSEUM PAY SUBCONTRACTORS
Subcontractors who were owed millions of dollars for their work on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, were recently paid by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The subcontractors went without payment for at least seven months as a result of a dispute between the Port Authority which owns the World Trade Center site, and museum officials. The effort to obtain the funds due to the subcontractors, was led by BTEA Executive Committee member Arthur Rubenstein of Skyline Steel Corp.
Executive Director of the Subcontractors Trade Association, Ron Berger, said that he was informed that officials at the Port Authority would begin payments to the subcontractors for a total of $15 million starting in the past week.
BTEA SUPPORTS BILL THAT SEEKS TO REFORM STATE SCAFFOLD LAW
The BTEA has come out in support of a bill recently introduced in the New York State Legislature that would seek to reform the longstanding New York Scaffold Law. The Scaffold Law, which exists only in New York, holds property owners and contractors fully liable for workplace accidents, regardless of fault. The bill which looks to amend the Scaffold Law, S. 6816, is sponsored by Senator Patrick Gallivan of Buffalo. This reform bill, which is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, would allow defendants to present evidence in their defense if an injured worker was intoxicated, violating safety standards or committing a criminal act.
BTEA President Louis Coletti said, “The current Scaffold Law impedes economic development and drives up the cost of construction projects across New York State. The members of the BTEA urge the State Legislature to act quickly on this reform legislation and even the playing field for construction contractors throughout New York.”
MARCH, 2012 NEW YORK CITY JOBS REPORT SHOWS LITTLE PROGRESS FOR CONSTRUCTION SECTOR
According to the New York State Department of Labor, construction jobs in New York City rose by 2.4% in March, 2012 when compared to statistics for February, 2012. In spite of this increase, construction jobs in New York City were still 3.4% lower when compared to statistics for March, 2011.