Unions in NYC pushing for wage theft bill to hold subcontractors accountable

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Unions across New York continue to push for the passage of legislation that would combat wage theft and ensure that all workers on the job get the pay they deserve.

On May 6, union carpenters and local elected officials rallied outside the Waldorf-Astoria in Manhattan to voice support for the Wage Theft Bill, companion legislation introduced in the state Assembly and state Senate, which would require all general contractors to be held liable for any wage theft and civil violations that a subcontractor may commit.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Queens state Senator Jessica Ramos and Bronx Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner. The bills are currently in legislative committee.

The historic Waldorf Astoria building is currently undergoing a major renovation project that includes a $25 million expansion of the landmark hotel. According to the NYC District Council of Carpenters, the developer behind the project, AECOM Tishman, partnered with Trident General Contracting in getting the project off the ground.

But the union charged that Trident General Contracting has “multiple pending wage theft lawsuits against it, and a history of troubling workplace safety incidents.”

NYC District Council Executive Secretary Treasurer Joe Geiger believes the passage of the wage theft bill would prevent firms from bilking their workers and ensure that developers and subcontractors alike would be held accountable.