New York Post Editorial Exposes Mayor’s Project Labor Agreement Scam Sleight of Hand

0 July 20, 2018  State & Local Construction

The New York Post editorial board probably won’t be getting a Christmas card from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) or NYC construction union bosses any time soon after they ran this editorial calling out the mayor for not substantiating promised savings from sweetheart deals on city construction projects with construction labor unions called government-mandated project labor agreements (PLAs) (“Daring de Blasio to show real savings from a gift to labor,” July 9, 2018):

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2015 claim that a deal with construction unions would shave hundreds of millions from $8 billion worth of city project costs was always dubious. But now he’s being called on it.

With the deal expiring, Citizens Budget Commission President Carol Kellerman last week wrote de Blasio to request a review of whether the savings ever materialized.

The deal projected $347 million in lower costs, plus “opportunities” for minority- and women-owned firms, she noted. Yet her group knows of no “reporting” on whether those goals were achieved.

The city, she argues, should commission an “independent” analysis of the four expiring “project labor agreements” while there’s “still time to decide” whether to “amend or renew them.”

PLAs give construction projects exclusively to union shops. The Associated Builders and Contractors reports that can boost costs as much as 18 percent.

A 2011 review of PLAs by labor lawyer Maurice Baskin found a “persistent pattern of increased construction costs,” as well as “numerous delays . . . construction defects, safety problems and diversity issues” — problems, he wrote, “confirmed by numerous published reports.”

The opposite, in other words, of what de Blasio vowed in 2015. Taxpayers deserve to know if he made good on that.

Of course, the mayor isn’t alone in embracing PLAs. Many pols love them, because it wins them points with organized labor.

That said: If the deals really did save the city money, de Blasio & Co. would race to line up those independent studies. The CBC, and taxpayers, shouldn’t hold their breath. agrees. We’ve previously covered the sham studies justifying bogus promises of cost savings on PLA projects in New York and across the country.

The New York Post’s editorial comes on the heels of a published op-ed by ABC Empire State President Brian Sampson calling out New York Gov. Cuomo for his shameless Pay-to-PLA pledge to construction union bosses at a recent rally and this March 11, 2018, editorial, “Construction unions are robbing us blind“.

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