FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2023
CONTACT: Gwennan Booth, Communications Manager, New York State Laborers’ LECET
315.717.7379; [email protected]
A WIN FOR THE WORKING CLASS – A WIN FOR NEW YORK
Governor Hochul Signs the Roadway Excavation Quality Assurance Act
into New York State Law
Today Governor Kathy Hochul proved once again that she, her administration and the State of New York are undoubtedly pro-union and pro-working New Yorkers by signing momentous legislation that uplifts the men and women who build our state and protects ratepaying New Yorkers – the Roadway Excavation Quality Assurance Act. This new law further cements that New York’s progressive policies and exemplary dedication to the middle class place it solidly at the forefront of the national labor movement.
The REQAA (A5608/S4887) requires private utility contractors and their subcontractors to pay prevailing wages on projects that require a permit to use or cut open a public street. This means, the workers making critical repairs and upgrades to our infrastructure are paid a well-deserved, living wage and have the training to do it safely and expeditiously – benefiting ratepayers.
“For decades our union pushed to expand this requirement from just New York City to the rest of the state,” said Dan Bianco, LIUNA Vice President and New England Regional Manager. “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 New York State Senator Mike Gianaris and Assemblymember 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 Governor 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!”
“For too long utility companies have relied on working men and women to keep their businesses running while simultaneously paying low wages and providing sub-par service,” said Vincent Albanese, Executive Director, New York State Laborers’ PAC. “They readily dispatched workers into the streets to ensure lights remained on while eagerly raking in small fortunes from ratepaying middle class families with blatant disregard for treating all of the above with fairness and dignity. That ends now.”
“This imperative legislation ensures exploiting workers and ratepayers is thing of the past,” said Todd Diorio, Chair, New York Laborers’ PAC. “Fair, family-sustaining wages for the skilled and trained workers who in turn make safe, fast repairs is the new standard in New York State.”
ABOUT THE NEW YORK STATE LABORERS: The New York State Laborers’ Union represents over 40,000 members employed in the construction industry and other fields throughout the state. Our members are organized into more than 24 local unions and 5 district councils. We are a proud affiliate of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA). www.nysliuna.org.