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No-work & All Pay At WTC As Rebuilding Costs Up $96 Million Under Lax Union Rules

No-work jobs in a mob-linked union could add nearly $100 million to the public cost of rebuilding Ground Zero, a new report charges.

The Real Estate Board of New York, a major developers’ group, says antiquated rules let a cadre of crane and heavy equipment workers pocket six-figure paychecks for little more than showing up.

In the next three years the no-work jobs, controlled by Locals 14 and 15 of the Operating Engineers, could add $96.2 million to the cost of World Trade Center projects, the REBNY says.

The projects include the Freedom Tower, the transit hub, the 9/11 Memorial and surrounding street work.

Contractor and union sources confirmed that the eight tower cranes at the WTC site guarantee a bonanza for Local 14 operating engineers and the Local 15 specialists who fix them.

On one day in mid-March, for example, contractors said 56 of 204 Local 14 and Local 15 employees on site held no-work jobs.

The board compiled the statistics in the runup to contract talks with the operating engineers and all the city’s construction unions, which start next month.

Local 14 and 15 officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Many of the jobs are vestiges of an era in which the Colombo and Genovese crime families controlled Locals 14 and 15. Local 14 has been under a federal monitor since 2009.

One example is the full-time Local 14 “master mechanics” the contractor must hire whenever five pieces of heavy equipment or three tower cranes are in use.

With a $135,000 base salary, a master mechanic can make a staggering $405,000 a year with overtime that’s guaranteed by six-day, 12- to 16-hour-a-day schedules. Welfare benefits, insurance and other costs hike the annual bill to $700,000 for that one mechanic.

It’s a ridiculous requirement, REBNY says, because the manufacturer or crane owner does the repairs, not the contractor’s master mechanics.

Instead, they are glorified shop stewards, a part-time job in most unions. With three required on site a day, that should cost about $6.3 million through 2013, the board says.


6 Responses

  1. why does everyone appear shocked, by you own statements this has been going on for years and should have been addressed before work even began. Shame on the city and the government who supposedly are “in control” of the union locals.

  2. Now we know why everybody laughs at the “dumb Americans.”
    Not embarassing enough that it takes 10 YEARS to build up a memorial to the close to 3000 victims of 9/11, now the unions want to use the opportunity to milk the taxpayers.
    Takeh an embarassment.

  3. Hmmm I wonder why new york, let alone America is in so much debt! Paying people to not work is definately not the answer! Away with the unions!!!

  4. This tower should not have been built at all. It is too large to be commercially feasible without government assistance. The Port Authority should have simply bought out Silverstein.

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