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Buffalo News: LETTERS: No need to forfeit safety to add jobs

Friday, May 29th, 2015

The April jobs report should permanently put to rest the old canard that we cannot have both strong jobs growth in the construction industry and strong safety laws to protect workers. Construction employment is up 11 percent over the last year and is now at an all-time high for the Buffalo Niagara area. According to […]

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Gothamist: NYC Construction Workers Demand Safer Conditions

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

A report issued yesterday by the New York Committee For Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH), found that the majority of construction worker deaths—fifteen statewide in 2014, eight of which took place within the five boroughs—can be chalked up to safety violations at high altitudes. 71% of construction injuries reported to the DOB between 2008 and […]

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DNA Info: Construction Worker Deaths Show Need for Safer Work Sites, Advocates Say

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The last time Monica Velazquez saw her father was on Thanksgiving dinner last year. The next morning he went to his worksite, a car dealership in Staten Island that was being demolished, and was killed when its roof collapsed. Delfino Velazquez, a 46-year-old construction worker with Formica Construction, was one of a rising number of fatalities at city […]

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Labor Press: New Report Calls for Greater OSHA Enforcement

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Union members, elected officials and worker safety advocates held a press conference at City Hall to bring attention to a new report that reveals that many construction sites are poorly regulated and unsafe. The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health released on Monday morning “The Price of Life: 2015 Report on Construction Fatalities […]

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The Real Deal: OSHA ill-prepared to enforce construction safety: report

Monday, May 11th, 2015

Midway through a year in which construction-site deaths are set to reach their largest numbers since the height of the last real estate boom, advocates are placing blame on employers and the regulators tasked with overseeing them. According to a report released Monday by the nonprofit New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health ahead […]

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am New York: NY’s scaffold law protects workers in growing city

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Tram Thuy “Tina” Nguyen was killed in March when the wind knocked a sheet of plywood loose from a construction site as the 37-year-old walked on West 12th Street. Earlier this month, a 22-year-old man was buried alive and killed by falling debris while working on a Meatpacking District building. Two weeks ago, four construction […]

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Buffalo News: LETTERS: Gutting Scaffold Law will put workers at risk

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

It’s certainly true that millions of New Yorkers desperately need quality, affordable housing. But we can’t build the housing we need by asking construction workers to put their lives on the line. Unfortunately, that is what so-called reform of the Scaffold Law would do. The law is an important protection that keeps construction workers – […]

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Truthout: Fatal Construction Accident Shows Higher Risks Faced by Latino Workers

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

Monday morning, March 23, 2015, in Raleigh, North Carolina, was a mild and slightly overcast day. The first signs of spring were beginning to emerge after an uncharacteristically chilly winter for the capital of the Southern state. But the recent cold weather had hardly hampered the construction of several high-rise office and condo projects, unprecedented […]

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WCNY: March 10, 2015: Mayor Stephanie Miner, Scaffold Law, E. J. McMahon, Comptroller DiNapoli

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

We speak with Scaffold Law proponent Charlene Obernauer, the head of the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). Click here to listen to the full story on WCNY.

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Legislative Gazette: Scaffold Law advocates: ‘Let the sunshine in’

Monday, March 9th, 2015

A union-backed coalition is fighting to keep New York’s controversial Scaffold Law intact while passing new regulations requiring insurance companies to disclose claims data related to construction accidents. Representatives of the Scaffold Safety Coalition were joined at the Legislative Office Building last week by Assemblyman Francisco Moya, D-Queens, and Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, D-Bronx, in support of […]

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Saratogian: Labor unions back bill that would examine New York’s controversial Scaffold Law

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

The state’s much maligned Scaffold Law drew strong support from labor unions and their allies Tuesday as they endorsed a bill forcing insurance companies to disclose costs related to the worker-injury measure. “For years a moneyed coalition of insurance companies and property owners have been trying to get rid of a law that protects construction […]

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Capital Tonight State of Politics: Moya, Building Trades Push Scaffold Sunshine Law

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Queens Democratic Assemblyman Francisco Moya, along with affordable housing advocates the Building and Construction Trades Council on Monday pushed a bill that would add new requirements for insurance providers that operate under the state’s Scaffold Law. The measure — deemed “The Sunshine Bill” by supporters would require insurance companies to file annual financial disclosure statements […]

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Buffalo News: LETTERS: Scaffold Law protects construction workers

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

It’s outrageous that big business groups and their lobbyists would try to use New York’s political scandals as an excuse to rush through dangerous plans to weaken critical workplace safety regulations like the Scaffold Law. Despite their repeated exaggerations and mistruths, the Scaffold Law simply holds those who control a work site responsible if someone […]

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Capital Tonight State of Politics: Housing Advocacy Group Backs Scaffold Law

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

An organization that supports affordable housing for the poor is joining a coalition that is pushing back against efforts to overhaul the state’s Scaffold Law. Real Affordability for All is joining the larger Scaffold Safety Coalition, the groups will announce later today. “We cannot build the housing New Yorkers need on the backs of injured […]

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Capital Tonight State of Politics: Labor Groups Write Lawmakers To Back Scaffold Law

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

A coalition of labor unions this week is writing to state lawmakers urging them to resist efforts that would change the state’s Scaffold Law. The measure is a perennial political fight between trial lawyers and labor unions on one side, with business groups and local governments citing the law adding to New York’s difficult business […]

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Daily News: LETTERS: Laws and Lives

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Brooklyn: We all want to see New York thrive, but weakening critical workplace safety laws like the Scaffold Safety Law would only put the most vulnerable workers at risk (“Cure what ails New York, gov,” Column, Jan. 21). As Fox News recently reported, deaths among Latino and immigrant construction workers are on the rise, even […]

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Fox News Latino: Latino construction workers continue to die on the job because of unsafe conditions

Friday, January 16th, 2015

A new analysis of federal safety data found that while overall jobs in the construction industry are getting safer, Latino workers are still getting injured at alarming rates. According to the data, between 2010 and 2013, the number of deaths among Latinos in the construction industry rose from 181 to 231. The number of deaths […]

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Capital Tonight State of Politics: Scaffold Fight Gears Up Once Again

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

The fight over the Scaffold Law is brewing once again in Albany. The law is one business groups have sought to scale back and alter for decades, saying its more onerous features make it difficult to do business in New York. But a coalition of well-funded and political savvy labor groups in the last several […]

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Times Union: LETTERS: Scaffold Law not linked to schools

Friday, December 5th, 2014

New Yorkers should give an “F” to the argument that the newly approved $2 billion “Smart Schools Bond Act” will see much of the money “wasted” due to the state’s construction safety law. There is no evidence that the Scaffold Law – an important law to keep workers who do some of the most dangerous […]

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Times Union: Second draft of Scaffold report released

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

SUNY’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government has released a second draft of its controversial report on New York’s Scaffold Law. According to the Institute’s Deputy Director for Operations Robert Bullock, it’s the only remaining version of the report that was shared with the report’s funder, the state Lawsuit Reform Alliance. The business-backed group, which opposes […]

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Times Union: LETTERS: ‘Scaffold Law crucial in N.Y.’

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

The latest story from the Times Union (“Outside clout in final report?” Aug. 11) is yet another nail in the coffin for the ethically and empirically flawed Scaffold Safety Law study commissioned by the Lawsuit Reform Alliance this year. The $82,000 report was paid for by industry-backed lobbyists seeking to weaken the Scaffold Safety Law, […]

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Times Union: Groups seeks all drafts of Scaffold Law report

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

The Center for Popular Democracy, a labor-backed advocacy group that supports New York’s controversial Scaffold Law, has filed an appeal of its initial Freedom of Information Law request for all communications between SUNY’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and the Lawsuit Reform Alliance, the business-backed anti-Scaffold Law group that paid almost $83,000 for an […]

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Times Union: Editorial: Live up to institute’s image

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Opinion: A recent flap over a study underscores the need for the Rockefeller Institute to guard against even the perception of improper influence over its work. Albany’s Rockefeller Institute of Government has a long and well-earned reputation of providing unbiased insights to help shape public policy in New York and across the nation. It’s a […]

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Times Union: Outside clout in final report?

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Between its draft and final versions, a report by SUNY‘s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government on New York’s controversial Scaffold Law incorporated changes that tended to increase its estimates of the law’s cost and impact. Some of the changes echoed suggestions made to researchers by the leader of an anti-Scaffold Law organization that paid $82,000 to fund the […]

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Times Union: LETTERS: ‘Critical protection from Scaffold Law’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

The results of a Freedom of Information Law request on a much-criticized study on the Scaffold Law authored by SUNY’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government directly contradict the institute’s public statement to Gannett defending its work in April. The biggest lie was when they said: “The funder did not attempt to influence the development […]

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Times Union: Did editing taint a report?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The leader of a business group opposed to New York’s Scaffold Law offered edits to an academic analysis of its impact on construction costs and worker injuries — an $82,800 study that was funded by the same group. Tom Stebbins, the leader of the state Lawsuit Reform Alliance, and officials at SUNY‘s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government insist that […]

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The Journal News: OP-ED: Keep the Scaffold Law Strong

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Lawmakers in Albany declined to water down the Scaffold Safety Law again this year and, as a construction accident survivor, I say thank goodness. I lived and worked in New York as an ironworker for 25 years, before a 15-foot fall ended my career and nearly took my life. I knew my way around a […]

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Scaffold Safety Coalition Statement on NYC Building Safety Firm Indictments

Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

In response to news that several New York City building safety firms have been indicted on charges of falsifying reports the Scaffold Safety Coalition issued the following statement from Connie M. Razza, Director of Strategic Research at the Center for Popular Democracy: “Yesterday’s shocking indictments are another urgent reminder that when it comes to the dangerous construction industry, the […]

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Times Union: LETTERS: ‘Prove the Scaffold Law needs to be changed’

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Saul Abrams in his letter (“Responsibility at heart of Scaffold Law issue,” June 15) says that what the cost to insurance companies is for so-called Scaffolding Law claims is irrelevant, and that it would suffice if there was a rebuttable presumption that the worker is not liable. There is a rebuttable presumption that the worker […]

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Times Union: EDITORIAL: ‘Resist industry pressure; it won’t be futile’

Monday, June 9th, 2014

The American Insurance Association last week stepped up opposition to a bill from Assemblyman Francisco P. Moya, D-Queens, who wants to require insurance companies to reveal data that would clarify the true impact of the Scaffold Law on insurance rates. Gary Henning, the association’s northeast region vice president, said in a statement: “The arduous task […]

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Times Union: LETTERS: ‘Law Detractors can cause harm’

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

It is extremely disturbing that it is has come to light that a recent report issued by SUNY’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government was in truth an $82,000 bought-and-paid-for criticism of the Scaffold Law (“Backtrack in Scaffold Law debate,” May 1). This report drew conclusions by using a flawed methodology and was based on […]

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Times Union: Scuffle over Scaffold Law goes on

Monday, May 5th, 2014

On Friday, the labor-backed Center for Popular Democracy filed its own FOIL query for all materials related to the Civil Justice Institute’s initial “Request for Proposals” inviting scholars to undertake the report, plus any other communications between the institute and the anti-Scaffold Law entities since January 2013. The Center for Popular Democracy in April issued “Fatally Flawed,” a […]

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The Nation: As New York’s Construction Industry Booms, Workers’ Lives Are Being Put on the Line

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Most of New York’s workers were probably too busy on April 28 to notice that it was Workers’ Memorial Day. But amid the hustle and bustle of the workday, a group of activists gathered at a West Side building site known for its poor safety conditions to issue a stark warning. Antonio Sanchez of the Worker’s Justice […]

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Real Estate Weekly: Call for more oversight, money to protect workers

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

New York’s construction industry accounted for the largest single share of worker deaths in the state in 2012, according to a new report. And half of those who died were immigrants reports “It’s No Accident: A Report on Workplace Deaths in New York State — Focus on Construction.” The report was released during an event […]

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Chronicle of Higher Ed: Its Integrity Questioned, SUNY Institute Retreats From Politically Tinged Study

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

Its Integrity Questioned, SUNY Institute Retreats From Politically Tinged Study By Paul Basken, Chronicle of Higher Education The State University of New York’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government is backing away from a politically divisive report critical of a worker’s-rights law, admitting that the industry-financed analysis has multiple major flaws that undermine its central […]

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New York Daily News: Construction workers and their advocates say New York’s Scaffold Law keeps jobsites safe and they want to see it preserved

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Pascual Barrero, 55, has held many hard jobs during his life. When he moved to New York from Mexico 15 years ago, he brought with him the memories of years of poverty, but also the hope for a better future. He found work with a small Queens company and joined the ranks of the state’s […]

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Capitol Pressroom: Scaffold Safety Law Debate

Friday, April 25th, 2014

We discuss the Scaffold Law with two people who hold opposing views on the issue: Dr. Michael Hattery, director of local government studies at the Rockefeller Institute, and Connie M. Razza, director of strategic research at the Center for Popular Democracy. Click here to listen to the full segment from WCNY Public Radio’s Capitol Pressroom […]

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Legislative Gazette: Scaffold Law debate heats up over dueling reports on safety and costs

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

A new report released last Thursday by a pro-labor, pro-immigrant rights advocacy group criticizes the construction industry for using what they call misleading figures and cherry picking data to lobby against the state’s controversial “scaffold law.” The scaffold law is a century-old law in place to protect worker’s rights. Under the law, contractors and property […]

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New York Daily News: LETTERS: ‘Fair laws’ & ‘Unnoticed heroes’

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Fair laws Manhattan: I commend Errol Louis for taking a strong stand on behalf of the health and welfare of New York’s construction workers. But there was one detail in his description of the “reform” proposed by the construction industry that stands correcting. He writes that the industry officials want to be able to “avoid […]

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NY1’s Pura Pura Política: Asambleísta Moya y la Ley de Andamios

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Pura Política: Empresarios de la construcción quieren reformar una ley del siglo XIX. Francisco Moya, asambleísta por Queens, nos cuenta por qué debe permanecer intacta. Click here to watch the full segment with Assemblyman Francisco Moya of Queens from NY1 Noticias’s Pura Política.

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Safety & Health Mag: Safety coalition: ‘Scaffold Law’ study is ‘flawed’

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

New York – A recent study that questioned the usefulness of New York state’s “Scaffold Law” is flawed, according to a new report from a worker safety advocacy coalition. In December, a study from State University of New York’s Rockefeller Institute of Government concluded that New York’s Labor Law 240 – which imposes a strict liability on employers for […]

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Amsterdam News: Coalition launched to protect construction workers and defend scaffold law

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

A diverse collection of workers, organizations and advocates have formed a new coalition designed to defend New York’s Scaffold Safety Law and push for increased enforcement of New York’s construction safety standards. “Tens of thousands of hard-working men and women, many of them immigrants, risk their lives building and repairing our city,” said SEIU 32BJ […]

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New York Daily News: When Lawsuits Protect Hardhats, by Errol Louis

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

New York is about to embark on a historic building boom — and that has touched off a furious new round in a long-running battle about how to protect the health and safety of the workers who create the city’s glittering skyline. This month alone, two men have fallen to their deaths while working on […]

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El Diario: Coalición defiende ley que protege a trabajadores de la construcción

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

  Más de una veintena de organizaciones comunitarias y sindicatos se han unido en una coalición para presionar para que no se reforme una legislación que protege la seguridad de los 1.5 millones trabajadores de construcción del estado de Nueva York. Este mismo lunes un obrero cuya identidad aún no ha sido divulgada murió después de caerse de un […]

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New York Law Journal: Scaffold Law Supporters Mobilize to Counter Reform Push

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

ALBANY – A coalition of unions and construction trade groups has been created to oppose efforts at the Capitol to repeal or significantly alter the Scaffold Law. Organizers of the Scaffold Safety Coalition say their group is designed to act as a competing voice to the Alliance for Minority and Women Construction Businesses, which has […]

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Labor Press: Statewide Coalition Defends Scaffold Safety Law

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Albany, NY – A diverse group of workers, advocates and organizations committed to protecting construction workers in New York State have joined together to create a unified front in the fight to defend New York’s Scaffold Safety Law from industry-backed efforts to gut the law. The coalition will  push for increased enforcement of New York’s […]

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Capital Tonight: Scaffold Law advocates form new coalition

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

  A new coalition is focused on keeping the Scaffold Law in place as opposition grows. The Scaffold Law regulates construction site safety, and sets the standards for who is responsible when an accident occurs. And supporters say its needed to protect construction workers. Josie Duffy of the Center for Popular Democracy joined us to […]

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New York Daily News: Labor groups align to defend Scaffold Law

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

As business groups try to get Albany legislators to move on reforming the Scaffold Law before they ditch the State Cap for the session, a coalition of labor, political, and advocacy groups are massing on the other side of the battlefield. About a week after I reported two groups were underwriting radio spots urging lawmakers to dismantle […]

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Buffalo News: Unions start Scaffold Law protection push

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

With some business and other groups pushing for changes to a law they says drives up the cost of construction projects in New York, an organized push has begun by a group of unions and allies to keep the law intact. At issue is the Scaffold law, which critics say makes construction companies and property […]

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WHAM 1180: Make The Ones Who Ruin A Life Pay For It by Bob Brenna

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

The new PR campaign calling for the repeal of New York’s scaffold law is not only disingenuous, it is absolutely misleading. This merely proves that enough money behind a statewide campaign can cause the public to be misled on a massive scale, with complete “misinformation”.  It is intentional, and it is dishonest, if not downright […]

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New York Times: Worker Is Killed in Fall at a Midtown Hotel

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

A worker died after he fell onto scaffolding at the Dream New York hotel in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday, the police said. Fire officials said they received a report of the fall, at 210 West 55th Street, around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The city’s Department of Buildings said in a statement that the man, who […]

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Insurance Journal: OP-ED: Study Suggesting N.Y. Scaffold Law Causes Injuries Misuses Statistical Techniques

Saturday, March 15th, 2014

“In my view, a recently publicized study misuses sophisticated statistical techniques and produces results that are inaccurate. (See “Study Says N.Y. ‘Scaffold Law’ Drives Up Construction Costs, Causes Injuries”) The analysis was conducted by the Rockefeller Institute, a branch of the State University of New York, with a Cornell University professor serving as a consultant. Regrettably, […]

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In These Times: Industry Attacks on ‘Scaffold Law’ Put Construction Workers on Shaky Ground

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

New York City’s tens of thousands of construction workers face a precarious landscape at work.  Teetering at the edge of rooftops, sidestepping mammoth cranes and noisy bulldozers, and navigating through half-collapsed walls and chemical-laden debris, they’re surrounded by hazards day in and day out. Yet many workers remain silent about unsafe conditions. For them, the […]

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NY1’s Inside City Hall: Advocates Debate State’s Scaffold Law

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

NY1 VIDEO: Inside City Hall’s Errol Louis hosted a debate on the merits of the 100-year-old Scaffold Law, which applies to labor regulations, with the Rev. Jacques DeGraff, senior vice president of 100 Black Men and co-chairman for the Alliance for Minority and Women Construction Businesses, who wants to see the law changed, and Paul […]

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Buffalo News: LETTER: Scaffold Law needed to protect workers

Friday, February 14th, 2014

“The law’s critics have made a series of wild and dubious claims about the law, but the fact is that, as The News has reported, the law has not slowed the biggest construction boom we have seen in years here in Western New York. The law simply makes sure that construction workers who work in […]

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Capital Tonight: Assemblyman Moya on the Construction Insurance Transparency Act

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

  The Scaffold Law was the subject of dueling rallies at the capitol Tuesday. The measure relates to insurance for construction sites. And it’s long been a target of developers and business groups who say it drives up costs of both public and private projects. But not everyone is convinced that the Scaffold Law is […]

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Capital New York: A scaffold law debate over its minority impact

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

The law is a source of annual conflict at the Capitol, and supporters of the law held their own press conference to support the “Construction Insurance Transparency Act of 2014”, a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Francisco Moya that would require insurers who issue liability insurance against the scaffold safety law to file annual financial statements […]

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Amsterdam News: OP-ED: Ending the Scaffold Law would hurt, not help, minorities

Monday, February 10th, 2014

“The Scaffold Safety Law is fair: If your construction site is unsafe, you are responsible for workers who suffer devastating injuries or even lose their lives because you did not follow the rules. Minority- and women-owned businesses are a very important part of New York’s construction industry, and they need and deserve support from our leaders […]

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Univision: Más obreros hispanos de la construcción mueren en el trabajo a nivel nacional (VIDEO)

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Univision: Más obreros hispanos de la construcción mueren en el trabajo a nivel nacional (VIDEO)

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Capital New York: Construction Industry Lobbies Cuomo to Amend New York’s Scaffold Law

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Capital New York: Construction Industry Lobbies Cuomo to Amend New York’s Scaffold Law

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Amsterdam News: (Un)harnessing Civil Rights

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

Amsterdam News: (Un)harnessing Civil Rights

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City & State: The Race Case: Opposing Sides Cite Race in Scaffold Law Battle

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

City & State: The Race Case: Opposing Sides Cite Race in Scaffold Law Battle

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New York Times: Contractors and Workers at Odds Over Scaffold Law

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

New York Times: Contractors and Workers at Odds Over Scaffold Law

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New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Latino, immigrant construction workers more likely to die on job in NYC: study

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

New York Daily News: EXCLUSIVE: Latino, immigrant construction workers more likely to die on job in NYC: study

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New York Daily News: OP-ED: Keep New York’s scaffold law

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

New York Daily News: OP-ED: Keep New York’s scaffold law

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City & State: Parents of Killed Construction Worker Defend State’s Scaffold Law

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Written by Jon Lentz on October 25, 2013 As supporters and opponents of the state’s Scaffold Law gear up for a battle in Albany next year, the parents of a worker killed at a New York City construction site are calling on state legislators to keep the law on the books in order to prevent […]

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