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Hochul signs legislation ensuring prevailing wage for construction workers performing certain utility work on roads


Wed, Aug 16th 2023 07:05 pm

Legislation (S.4887/A.5608) will mandate that construction workers on projects requiring excavation or opening of a street are paid a fair wage

Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation (S.4887/A.5608) into law enacting the Roadway Quality Assurance Act, “strengthening New York’s construction workforce by ensuring they are paid the prevailing wage,” her team said. “This requirement uplifts workers and local communities across New York state and contributes to reliable utility service for ratepayers.”

Hochul said, "Our construction workers keep New Yorkers moving, but are often underpaid for their hard and impactful work. I am proud to sign this legislation that will provide construction workers with fair wages and allow them to support themselves, their families, and our local economy.”

Legislation amends the labor law to enact the "roadway excavation quality assurance act” to protect workers on projects requiring the excavation or opening of a street. This legislation mandates that utility company contractors and subcontractors pay the prevailing wage to employees on projects where a permit to use, excavate, or open a street is required to be issued.

Mario Cilento, president of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, “We commend Gov. Hochul for prioritizing safety while ensuring workers will be paid fairly for their labor. Requiring prevailing wage standards on roadway excavation projects will lead to the use of a highly trained and skilled workforce, help protect public safety, and assist with utility service reliability.”

Gary LaBarbera, president, New York State Building & Construction Trades Council, said, “We thank Gov. Hochul for signing this important piece of legislation that will benefit construction workers across New York. Prevailing wages provide meaningful benefits to workers and the economy, as they enable the Building Trades to continue creating middle-class family-sustaining careers. The new law will protect public safety and utility service reliability by ensuring these roadway excavation projects utilize a highly trained and skilled workforce.”

Dan Bianco, LIUNA vice president and New England regional manager, said, “For decades, our union pushed to expand this requirement from just New York City to the rest of the state. This was a long and hard-fought battle by the men and women of the New York State Laborers that will benefit our membership indefinitely. We’d like to thank our valued colleagues in the Senate and Assembly, specifically Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, bill sponsors NYS Sen. Mike Gianaris and Assembly member Karines Reyes, Senate Labor Chair Jessica Ramos and Assembly Labor Chair LaToya Joyner, who recognize the importance of paying solid wages to workers, safety, training and holding big utility companies accountable to the people their businesses serve. Most importantly, we thank Gov. Kathy Hochul for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with proud LIUNA members and signing this legislation into law, and for being a strong ally to the union men and women who build New York from the ground up!”

Thomas A. Callahan, president of the New York State Conference of Operating Engineers, said, “The NYS Conference of Operating Engineers thanks Gov. Hochul for signing this bill into law. Workers in this sector will now receive the wages and benefits they deserve. We also want to thank the NYS Legislature – especially the sponsors – for passing this important bill.”

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