Negotiations Break Off: Laborers Strike Interior Demolition Contractors

Negotiations Break Off: Laborers Strike Interior Demolition Contractors



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NEW YORK, July 1 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — Contract negotiations between the Mason Tenders District Council, (MTDC) and the Interior Demolition Contractors Association (IDCA) have broken down. As of midnight, July 1, 2009 members of Laborers’ Local 79 walked off their jobs.

“It is unfortunate that it has to come to this,” said Robert Bonanza, Business Manager of the 16,000 member Mason Tenders District Council. “We have a long history of successfully negotiating collective bargaining agreements with our signatory contractors. In this case that was not possible.”

Negotiations for a new agreement began six months ago, with the union looking to bring the contract, that covers the 1500 Laborers who do the demolition work, more in line with other existing contracts.

“For far too long our other contracts have been subsidizing the benefits of the workers covered by the IDCA agreement,” explained Bonanza. “What we were looking for was to develop a path, and begin the process of bringing the IDCA agreement in line with our other contracts. It is simply a question of fairness. We can no longer expect our other employers and union members to subsidize the demolition industry,” Bonanza stated.

“We knew this was going to be a tough negotiation, when the employers’ offer was to cut wages by $2.00 an hour, while also seeking cuts in benefits,” said John Delgado, Business Manager of Laborers’ Local 79. “But we held out hope that in the end we could reach a fair agreement. Obviously management had a different goal.”

In most cases, the 21 companies that are part of the IDCA work as subcontractors for general contractors. However, the union has an agreement with the Building Contractors Association (BCA) and the Contractors Association of Greater New York (CAGNY) that allows their general contractors to directly perform demolition work.

“This job action is not directed at our general contractors,” explained Bonanza. “We do not want them to suffer because of the unwillingness of the IDCA to do the right thing.”

The Mason Tenders District Council is part of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. The 16,000 members of the MTDC include construction workers, asbestos and hazardous materials handlers, recycling and waste handlers and Catholic High School teachers.

SOURCE Mason Tenders District Council

Negotiations Break Off: Laborers Strike Interior Demolition Contractors