Business Manager
Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York

Contact: Richard Weiss (917) 560-0046

April 9, 2015, New York City

The following statement was released today, April 9, 2015, by Robert Bonanza, business manager of the 17,000 member Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York, Laborers’ International Union of North America, regarding the announcement by New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the arrest of five public works contractors for underpayment of workers:

“Once again it has fallen to Attorney General Schneiderman to act to protect the hard working men and women of New York. Last June when Mayor de Blasio touted Sugar Hill as the model for future affordable housing development, he surely could not have been referring to the dozens of workers who were being held against their will several floors from where he was speaking. Nor could he have been praising the practice of stealing workers’ wages, which was rampant at the Sugar Hill site. It was clear to anyone who had been to that jobsite exactly what was going on. The questions that need to answered are – how could HPD and the de Blasio Administration be oblivious to the criminal activity on the site? Or was it just a case of willingly turning a blind eye? Whatever the answer is, it is once again apparent that the solution is a complete revamping of how the Department of Housing Preservation & Development awards the contracts for hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. Stealing workers’ wages is a crime and should never be tolerated. Using taxpayer money and the protection of a city agency to steal wages brings this crime to a new low. It must stop and the only person who can do that is the Mayor.”