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Monday, May 9, 2011
With the death of the weird-beard, Osama (has)bin Laden, Ground Zero has become a focal point again. As Barack Obama went to pay his respects and get some “closure” on the situation, many people started to ask … what’s the status of the World Trade Center site? Whatever has been happening there has been happening real slow. What’s the deal? Well the rebuilding process – the plans, the contractors – have had their share of problems. Can you guess just who might be causing some of those problems? Yup … you got it. Unions. This from the New York Daily News:
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…
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…
Then there's the Local 15 position of "crane oiler," a relic from the days when equipment needed frequent lubrication. An oiler is required on site when any tower crane is in use.
Today, the oiler simply fires up the crane at the start of work. With overtime, he can earn more than $100,000 a year.
And there's Local 14's "stationary equipment operator," with one assigned to each compressor, welding machine and spray fireproofer in use. With overtime, they pull down about $110,000 a year, REBNY estimated.
A World Trade Center construction supervisor who asked not to be identified said technology has reduced the job to two simple functions: "They turn the machine on in the morning and turn it off at night," the supervisor said. "They are basically non-essential."
Is THIS what you would consider the beacon of American ingenuity and work ethic? I didn’t think so.
County officials have directly ignored property owners near the beach and are disregarding their concerns. The arrogance that is being displayed by public officials is unacceptable and we will be exposing this issue more in the coming weeks.