NYC Comptroller Thompson, supports new construction laws and audits DOB

http://comptroller.nyc.gov/photos/portrait/WCT-portrait-10-19-07-low.jpg“Workers on public projects deserve and are lawfully entitled to the same wages as those who labor in the private sector,” Thompson said. “Our prevailing wage laws are important to taxpayers who want high-quality construction work done safely and at a reasonable price. These laws are critical to workers who want to make a decent living and work in safe conditions, and important to honest contractors who want to compete fairly for jobs.”

Whether it be speaking against Housing Authority budget cuts that screw 500,000 New Yorkers, speaking in front of a packed union hall full of construction workers of how he will defend prevailing wage and punish those that choose to break those laws, or speaking in front of City Hall urging Mayor Bloomberg and the state to "Keep the Promises" on education funding, one thing is clear, that this son of a judge and a public school teacher and native Brooklyn resident, New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr., is continuing to fight tooth and nail for working class families and all who work in this city.

New York City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. joined the Keep the Promises Coalition at a City Hall rally on June 16, 2008 to protest proposed budget cuts to New York City public schools. Photo credit: Marla S. Maritzer

Thompson has had 2 press releases in the past 24 hours that show how he is fighting for construction workers, and fighting for us is not a new event. In fact since 2002, Comptroller Thompson has debarred 28 contractors from doing business with the City and State and assessed $5,832,416 in back wages and benefits and $833,282 in penalties.

Yesterday, Donna from Teamsters Local 237 pointed out a press release by Mr. Thompson which shows his strong support for 3 recent Bill's, such as NYS Assembly #11676, which according to the press release, would close loopholes in the labor laws that allow contractors and subcontractors who fail to comply with prevailing wage settlements and final orders to continue to bid on, and be awarded, public contracts. Similarly, the bill would allow the State Commissioner of Labor or the New York City Comptroller to seek to debar contractors who willfully obstruct a labor law investigation.

Check out the press release entitled "THOMPSON PUSHES FOR STRONGER LABOR LAWS (6/23/08)"

The second which I just stumbled upon today, is the comptrollers audit of the NY Dept. Of Buildings, in which Thompson states "“It is simply unacceptable that DOB has permitted buildings with multiple open hazardous violations to go un-inspected for years, even by DOB’s own admission these are the worst cases, yet it has stood by and let the violations go unchecked and put New Yorkers at risk.”

Check out the press release entitled "THOMPSON AUDIT: BUILDINGS DEPARTMENT FAILING TO ENSURE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS CORRECTED ACROSS THE CITY (6/23/08)" and the Letter to Mayor Bloomberg (PDF)

He's a guy I have met at my own union meetings and along with Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota, I was proud to say thank you and was glad I had a chance to shake their hand.

I leave you with his statements from March 20th. of this year at a UNITE HERE ceremony commemorating the 1911 fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory that killed 146 garment workers
"As we commemorate the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, we need to keep in mind that while much has been accomplished in the ninety-seven years since, more can and needs to be done to defend the rights and safety of our laborers.

As the guardian our City’s pension funds, I am inspired by organizations like UNITE HERE to work towards ensuring that the companies we invest in abide by fair labor practices.

I extend my deepest sympathies to the families of those brave victims. Your relatives did not die in vain. The tragedy that took place here led to increased fire safety awareness and new standards in building codes that to this day have saved tens of thousands of lives over the years."

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