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“It Should Really Be Local Contractors That Are Doing This Job” - The Laborers Protest The Use Of An “Irresponsible” Out-Of-State Contractor For A $37 Million Contract At Stony Brook University On Long Island

Published Wednesday, November 10, 2021
by Jennifer Corr/Long Island Press
“It Should Really Be Local Contractors That Are Doing This Job” - The Laborers Protest The Use Of An “Irresponsible” Out-Of-State Contractor For A $37 Million Contract At Stony Brook University On Long Island

(STONY BROOK, NEW YORK) - Union Construction Workers from Long Island are protesting a New Jersey-based company winning a $37 million contract to renovate and modernize the main lecture hall at Stony Brook University.

The picketers lined up with giant inflatable rats and open coffins outside the south entrance of the university with a sign that read: “Stony Brook University, stop using irresponsible contractors and start paying Prevailing Wages.”

But the university maintains the contract to repair the Jacob K. Javits Lecture Center was awarded fairly to Niram Construction and that wage laws are being followed.

“Basically what they’re doing is using out of state contractors that are from New Jersey on taxpayers’ money,” said Anthony Speziale, an Organizer with Laborers Local 66, a Melville-based Union that represents about 1,000 Skilled Construction Craft Laborers in Nassau and Suffolk counties. “It should really be local contractors that are doing this job.” 

The Union is the Local Chapter of the Laborers International Union of North America.

It was not the first time the State University Construction Fund has used the same firm that specializes in Green Building Processes.

Since 2009, the fund has awarded five other projects at state universities to Niram. 

“Our ultimate goal is to get Stony Brook and give us a (Project Labor Agreement) on this job,” said New Hyde Park resident John Keenan, a Business Agent from LiUNA! Local 78, a Queens-based Union that represents about 3,500 Asbestos, Lead and Hazardous Waste Handlers in New York City, Long Island and New Jersey.

“If we have the (Project Labor Agreement), we will get good contractors in for the right wage, getting medical benefits and everything else for the Workers.  Our ultimate goal is to get SUNY (the State University of New York) to do this, the state university, to bring good contractors, safe contractors and New York contractors,” he said. 

“We are the ones paying taxes on Long Island and in New York State and by giving it to these New Jersey Workers, it’s no benefit to our community and our guys are out of work because of it,” Local 66 Organizer Speziale said.

To Read This Labor News Story In Its Entirety, Go To: www.longislandpress.com/2021/11/08/labor-union-protests-out-of-state-contract-at-stony-brook-university/

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