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REBNY strikes historic deal with trade unions


The Real Estate Board of New York has struck a historic accord with the city’s construction unions.

The deal aims to put both groups on the same side of building New York and helping the city retain its role as a leader in the global economy.

“The construction industry’s labor and real estate ownership and development components represent different constituencies, but we share countless common goals,” said Gary LaBarbera, the President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York (BCTC).

“By finding bold new ways to reinforce the interests we share, we will increase opportunities for well-paid, middle-class jobs with health, retirement and other benefits for a larger and more diverse population of New Yorkers and their families.”

“New York City’s real estate industry fuels hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs that provide a pathway to the middle class,” said REBNY President Jim Whelan.

“Organized labor is a critical partner in making sure New York continues to grow and thrive. This milestone framework gives both labor and owners new opportunities to build upon our successes, to find new ways to cooperate, to minimize contention and misunderstanding, and to fortify New York City’s status as a global capital.

The agreement between REBNY and BCTC sets out a framework to promote economically viable growth and development, while boosting private sector opportunities for union construction workers.

A new Development Sub-Committee will focus on policies that impact overall development, employment, standards of living, and diversity.


The agreement states that REBNY members “generally prefer to develop their projects with skilled labor” and acknowledge that “there can be value added by utilizing union construction workers” on their projects. This added value derives from “the substantial investment in training undertaken by organized labor unions and their contractors.”

The goal is to facilitate open competitive bidding for all solicitations, with developers evaluating all bids pursuant to their business judgment. Additionally, this will be in accordance with the framework’s principles that value training, safety, productivity, contractor integrity and competitiveness, among other factors that lead to safe, efficient and quality development.

A new Legislative Group Sub-Committee will identify ways to harmonize “political and legislative objectives in the mutual interest of BCTC and REBNY,” according to the agreement.

The parties further agree to work collaboratively when proposing new laws or regulations on “issues of mutual interest” and to keep each other informed on matters where their interests may diverge.

The Building & Construction Trades Council consists of local affiliates of 15 national and international unions representing 100,000 working men and women in New York City.

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