Labor Groups Push Cuomo’s 421a Plan
From the Morning Memo:
Labor groups on Thursday evening released a series of statements reiterating their support for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s comments on 421a that are seemingly at odds with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s alternative push.
The comments came from labor groups like the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York — a private-sector union that has been long supportive of Cuomo.
“We thank Governor Cuomo for taking a strong stance in favor of good wages and middle class jobs on behalf of construction workers on 421-A projects,” said the group’s president, Gary LaBarbara. “An extension of this program in its current form is unacceptable and would simply mean more tax breaks for real estate developers at the expense of hard-working men and women – further adding to the city’s already worsening income inequality.”
Added Paul Fernandes, the Executive Director of the New York City and Vicinity Carpenters Labor Management Corporation:
“Today Governor Cuomo stood up for thousands of working men and women in our industry in New York City, and we thank him for it. Having the 421a tax break continue to benefit billionaire special interest developers without creating middle class opportunity for workers and more affordable housing is unacceptable. Great progress was made today toward fixing this problem.”
UP4NYC’s Tom Meara chimed in as well.
“We overwhelmingly support Governor Andrew Cuomo’s comments today in support of working families over special interests,” Meara said. “This is an important issue because it really does affect so many families, and that’s why we will continue to push in Albany for legislation that gives New Yorkers the ability to earn middle class wages which will improve lives.”
It’s a familiar sight and a well-worn maneuver from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s playbook: Have allies release a series of supportive statements designed to show overwhelming political backing for the governor’s cause.
Never mind that in some respects it’s pure astroturf: The UP4NYC and carpenters group statements came from the same email address at the PR firm, M Public Affairs.
Cuomo, too, has had his eyebrows singed by the U.S. attorney’s office when he tried a similar move with statements from Moreland Commission members.
The comments were essentially in response to Cuomo’s sympathetic take on another labor group, the AFL-CIO, opposing de Blasio’s push on the 421a tax abatement.
The abatement is due to expire next month and the mayor wants to expand affordable housing opportunities in a revised measure. De Blasio’s proposal does include a prevailing wage component for service-industry workers, but not in the construction field.
Cuomo, while visiting a prison in Greene County, pounced on the split between the progressive mayor and labor groups. In a question-and-answer session with reporters, Cuomo repeatedly cited the concerns raised by the AFL-CIO, a labor group that declined to endorse him last year.
“A lot of people think the deal that has been negotiated by the city is too rich for developers and doesn’t do enough for workers,” Cuomo said. “I want to make sure the workers are protected the developers get a fair deal. I am not interested in passing a program that is a giveaway to developers.”
De Blasio’s office, of course, has disputed the idea their plan is a sweetheart deal for developers, even as the Real Estate Board of New York (longtime and generous political supporters of the governor) backs their effort.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Nick Reisman on May 29, 2015 at 8:40 am, and is filed under Andrew Cuomo. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|