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URGENT-Immediate Action PLEASE! – NY Prevailing wages for service workers bill – Tell Gov Patterson to Veto this horrible legislation – It will harm our business climate and threaten our fragile state economy

December 2, 2010

While news reports focused on what the legislature did not do the last few days they were in Albany (act on deficit reduction measures, for example–something they should have done), the things they did do will further weaken the state’s fragile economy.

It approved legislation to require payment of prevailing wages for service workers by utilities and public agencies.

Here is a brief summary of legislative action:

Prevailing wages for service workers

BILL NO A11672 Assembly–SPONSOR Rules (Gianaris) , Same as S 8454 Senate

The Assembly passed the legislation (79 – 50) to require payment of prevailing wages by any utility or party contracting with or for the benefit of a public agency for service workers, including janitors, security guards, handymen, gardeners, and window cleaners, and others.

This legislation, which was supported by powerful Downstate unions, especially 32BJ, would harm economic development in New York State for the following reasons:

1. The legislation would establish a dangerous precedent by extending, for the first time, the application of prevailing wages to employees of a private corporation not engaged in public works. If the legislature can apply this precedent to utilities, it could impose the same requirements on any for-profit corporation in the conduct of private enterprise. Prevailing wage requirements were enacted to apply to work done on public projects, such as roads, bridges, and government buildings. This legislation would dramatically expand the application of these wage requirements to work done by private entities for private purposes.

2. The legislation would apply to work done on behalf of Industrial Development Agencies when they own and operate an entity, such as an industrial park. As such, operating costs for these industrial, business, and technology parks would increase considerably.

3. The legislation would increase the cost of energy in NYS, thereby making the state even less competitive. New York’s energy costs are already among the highest in the country. This legislation would add to these already sky high costs, further harming its business climate.

The legislation was previously passed by the Senate, so now goes to the Governor for his signature or veto. NYSEDC will continue to vigorously oppose this ill conceived legislation.


PHONE– 518-474-8390 —

AND LETTER– David A. Paterson, State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224


Please pass this along to as many of your contacts as possible and urge them to do the same—-Thank you!

William J. Daly, Administrative Director/CEO

County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency


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