The New York State Laborers Union applauds Governor Cuomo’s proposed legislation that would allow the state to hold private utility companies accountable, and ensure New Yorkers receive the service they pay for and deserve. Far too often these companies overpromise and under-deliver on the services hardworking people rely on – a practice that can only be defined as unconscionable.
While this proposed legislation signals a positive step in the right direction toward further protecting New Yorkers against outages and subpar service, it is important to supplement this effort by passing A9872/S3699 – key legislation proposed by Assemblymember Reyes and Senator Gianaris that requires utility companies and their contractors to use skilled laborers whenever a permit is issued to cut open a street, and pay prevailing wage on those projects. Passing this legislation ensures that when it’s triggered, the most competent, highly-trained workforce is used to do critical excavation work and those responsible for the work’s completion are paid a fair, family-sustaining wage.
“Utility companies must be held accountable to the customers they serve, and the Governor’s proposed legislation is absolutely necessary to appropriately do so,” said John Hutchings, Executive Director, New York State Laborers’ PAC. “These companies have an unfortunate proven track record that they hold themselves to low standards, so it is up to our elected leaders to protect New Yorkers who pay their hard-earned wages to these companies. By implementing the Governor’s proposal AND passing A9872/S3699, our legislature has the opportunity to ensure utility companies better serve the public.”