Construction Unions’ Grip on NYC Begins to Show Cracks

Daily News Article - April 19, 2016


1. CHALLENGE: Define the following as used in the article.
collective bargaining
organized labor
private sector vs. public sector
residential vs. commercial
closed shop states
right-to-work states
open shop
developer vs. contractor

2. What have several of NYC’s largest construction companies declined to do in recent years?

3. a) How will this decision affect union workers?
b) How will this affect those workers who are not in a union?

4. How does the president of Lend Lease, the 5th largest contractor in New York City explain his company’s reason for this decision?

5. a) How does only using union sub-contractors (carpenters, electricians, plumbers, steel-workers, etc.) affect building costs, according to developers?
b) and according to a study by the Independent Budget Office?
c) Who do you think pays those costs?

6. What did the Contractors’ Association of Greater NY ask the carpenters union to do last June?
b) After the asked for reduction, how would union workers’ salaries have compared to nonunion workers?

7. From para. 16: “Unions say their members continue to perform work that is safer and faster than their competitors, and many developers agree.” If so, do you think developers should use a both union and nonunion workers? Explain your answer.