Wednesday, September 18, 2013

LIRR, construction unions reach cost saving agreement

Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams and Richard O’Kane, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk, signed a Project Labor Agreement with local private-sector unions on September 17, 2013 at the Farmingdale LIRR Station. Long Island Rail Road President Helena Williams and Richard O’Kane, President of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk, signed a Project Labor Agreement with local private-sector unions on September 17, 2013 at the Farmingdale LIRR Station. Metropolitan Transportation Authority / J. P. Chan

Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and local private-sector unions have reached a Project Labor Agreement designed to reduce the LIRR's labor costs on seven major construction projects by nearly 11 percent, saving the railroad an estimated $6.5 million

throughout the course of the next five years while protecting local trade union jobs.

"This Project Labor Agreement is a real win-win for both the riders of the LIRR and the hardworking men and women of local Long Island trade unions," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. "As the MTA moves forward on vital LIRR repairs and improvement projects, this agreement will help reduce costs, while creating and retaining good jobs on Long Island. I commend the leadership of the MTA and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk for their hard work in reaching this agreement."

The agreement, negotiated between the LIRR and the Buildings and Construction Trades Council of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, is a first for the MTA and the LIRR. In addition to reducing costs, the pact includes a 'no strike' clause on the covered projects, provides opportunities for minorities and women to enter trade union apprentice programs and includes non-discrimination provisions in union hiring hall and job placement practices.

The first project to benefit from the agreement, which is subject to approval by the MTA Board of Directors, will be civil and structural work for Phase 1 of the LIRR's proposed construction of a second track on its mainline between Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma scheduled to get underway early next year.

The seven projects covered by the agreement are expected to create between 400 and 500 private sector construction jobs on Long Island.

The other projects covered by the agreement are: the New Mid-Suffolk Electric Yard ($76.6 million); Hicksville Station Improvements ($55.2 million) and Hicksville North Siding ($37.7 million); Ellison Avenue Bridge Replacement in Mineola ($39.2 million); Great Neck Pocket Track Extension ($25.8 million); Wantagh Station Platform Replacement ($20.7 million) and the Colonial Road Highway Bridge Replacement, also in Great Neck ($9.5 million). The total cost of union labor on those projects was originally estimated at $60.1 million.

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