Local 79 Focused On Legislation To Address Labor, Economic, and Immigrant Justice This Session Including the Clean Slate Act, NYCHA Preservation Trust, And Excluded Worker Fund
Albany, New York – After six months of advocacy and activism, Laborers Local 79 capped off a strong legislative session in Albany. Following the end of session, Michael Prohaska, Business Manager of Laborers Local 79, issued the subsequent statement:
“In January, Local 79 set our intentions to work on a series of labor, economic, and immigrant justice issues that would not only serve the needs of the 10,000 hardworking members we represent, but also the needs of their families and the communities they call home. We fought shoulder-to-shoulder with coalition partners and allies in labor on issues many questioned a construction union’s role in – but we knew our role, to fight for the vulnerable and voiceless in situations our members, their loved ones, and neighbors have experienced.
“Local 79 advocated for a multi-billion increase for the first-in-the-nation Excluded Worker Fund and for the Excluded No More legislation so this funding can be there in perpetuity. We joined the Clean Slate New York coalition to ensure justice-affected New Yorkers aren’t relegated to the margins of society unable to secure meaningful employment and housing because of a mistake from their past. We worked with NYCHA and public housing tenants to infuse billions of dollars into public housing for long overdue repairs with the NYCHA Preservation Trust. We supported Mayor Eric Adams’ community hiring policy to increase local work and apprenticeship opportunities on New York City-funded construction projects. We also worked with the Mason Tenders District Council to increase jobsite fatality penalties to ensure a worker’s life is no longer ‘cost of doing business’ for unscrupulous contractors.
“Local 79 was on the frontlines of the legislative session, working tirelessly to pass these items and beat back the forces that also seek to harm workers, erode standards, and cut wages. While there was great progress on immigrant, labor, and economic justice – there is still work to be done on a number of these issues. In just a few short months, a new legislative session will begin and we look forward to the opportunities it holds for our union and all New Yorkers as we continue these fights and undertake new ones.
“Thank you, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie, for your leadership this session. Local 79 looks forward to your continued leadership and support next session as we endeavor to continue our fight for justice.”