Heading into the summer bargaining season, the goodwill created between New York City contractors and construction unions during landmark labor negotiations in 2009 appears to be spent. Labor bosses are crying foul over an employer campaign aimed at reducing the gap between union and open-shop rates. Photo: For ENR By Michael Falco New York building firms’ rep Coletti (left) and union head LaBarbera in 2009 after inking pact to cut costs. Relations now are strained. Rather than working exclusively with union trades representatives, the Building Trades Employers’ Association, which represents about 1,700 contractors citywide, is reaching out directly to rank-and-file
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.