Sept. 5, 2011, was not a happy Labor Day celebration for the New York City area's building-trades unions, especially with the upcoming anniversary of the 9/11 attacks bringing back memories of union members' self-sacrificing rescue-and-recovery work. In the months leading up to the holiday, building-trades employers were busy bringing unions to reluctant agreement on the new post-recession realities. Unions for electricians, paint-
ers and crane operators have come to terms on work-rule changes and limits on overtime that cut costs to employers by about 20%. New contracts with other unions still remain unsettled.