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News from BALCONY

BALCONY GATEWAY Breakfast Forum Held Nov 13, 2015

November 21st, 2015

Click HERE to see the full program.

November 19th, 2015

Our Mission
Rebuild New York Now is a broad-based coalition seeking to raise public awareness about the issues impacting New York State's infrastructure. The coalition actively engages federal and state elected officials to support public policies that promote safe roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, water treatment and other vital infrastructure.

As part of its effort to educate the public and our federal and state policy makers, Rebuild NY Now promotes relevant research, data points and news reports that highlight the need to rebuild New York State’s deteriorating infrastructure.

Supporters of Rebuild NY Now are committed to advocating for appropriate investment in the state’s deteriorating roads and bridges.

Learn more about Rebuild NY Now here.

Click here to view highlights from our most recent campaign.

Governor Cuomo, Governor Christie, Senator Schumer & Senator Booker Announce Agreement that Paves the Way for Gateway Tunnel Project

November 12th, 2015

Agreement Forged by Federal-State Officials Spells Out 50/50 Funding Agreement and Creates New 'Gateway Development Corporation' Under the Port Authority to Manage and Fund the Massive Undertaking

Agreement establishes new federal commitment to fund 50% of project costs and establishes new Gateway Development Corporation to leverage billions in federal grant and loan funding for Hudson River gateway program.

Development Corporation, including NJ, NY, USDOT and Amtrak as members, will be established and chaired by PANYNJ; entity will have executive director and dedicated staff – and have sole purpose of designing, directing and completing Gateway Program.

Corporation to Oversee New Hudson Rail Tunnel, With U.S. and Amtrak Financing Half

November 12th, 2015

Inside the deteriorating, century-old Amtrak tunnel under the Hudson River. Federal officials have called building a new tunnel one of the country’s most important infrastructure projects. Fred R. Conrad for The New York Times

November 11, 2015

Federal and state officials announced an agreement on Wednesday to create a corporation within the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to oversee long-awaited plans to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River.

The entity, called the Gateway Development Corporation, will coordinate the project and assemble the billions of dollars needed to pay for it. It will be controlled by a four-member board with representatives from New York, New Jersey, Amtrak and the federal Transportation Department.

For Immediate Release: Congressman Nadler Keynotes BALCONY GATEWAY Breakfast Forum, Nov. 13

November 11th, 2015
Congressman Nadler Keynotes

November 13th
BALLROOM at 4 W. 43rd St. in NYC.
Registration will begin at 8 am
Time: 8:30 am - 10:30 am

Cuomo to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 for All New York State Employees

November 11th, 2015


ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday that he would unilaterally establish a $15 minimum wage for all state workers, making New York the first state to set such a high wage for its public employees.

The increase will place the pay of New York’s state employees far ahead of the current minimum wage in other states, and positions Mr. Cuomo at the vanguard of a national movement to address stagnant pay for millions of American workers.

Tunnel Trouble: Crumbling Infrastructure Is Putting the Region at Risk

November 6th, 2015


Why We Need New Hudson River Tunnels

The tri-state area is loaded with bridges, rail systems and roadways that are suffering from years of under-investment. But perhaps the biggest risk we face is with the rail tunnel linking New Jersey and New York. Built more than a century ago, the fraying tubes that carry NJ Transit and Amtrak trains are the biggest chokepoint in the Northeast, and the source of frequent delays for commuters. For years, the tunnels have needed extended repairs that are impossible to do while keeping trains running. The situation deteriorated when the tunnels flooded with salt water during Hurricane Sandy. Amtrak officials say the tubes might not last 20 years.

BALCONY 2015 Golf Outing Honors NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento

November 3rd, 2015
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BALCONY Golf Outing Honors NYS AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento and New BALCONY Labor Co-Chair Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice President of NYSUT

On October 26th the Business and Labor Coalition (BALCONY) of New York hosted its fifth annual Golf Outing at Normanside Country Club outside of Albany featuring keynote speaker Mario Cilento, President of the NYS AFL-CIO. 95 golfers representing business and labor organizations from across New York State played in foursomes on an 18 hole scramble that culminated with a cocktail reception and awards dinner.

Cilento Golf
Mario Cilento, President of NYS AFL-CIO

In his keynote speech Mr. Cilento spoke about the importance of revitalizing labor in New York State and the key role that business will have to play in realizing that goal. Of BALCONY he said “bringing labor and business together in new ways that challenge the antagonism that has traditionally characterized the relationship between the two is a necessary and noble mission. I am pleased to be recognized at this event.”

Golf Pallotta
Andrew Pallotta, Executive Vice-President, NYSUT

Also honored at the event was newly appointed BALCONY Labor Co-Chair Andrew Pallotta, the Executive Vice President of the New York State United Teachers (NYSUT). According to Mr. Pallotta “I couldn’t be happier with the incredible turnout for this event, it truly demonstrates the enormous will and commitment of New Yorkers to find common ground between business and labor to the benefit of all. I am also so pleased that we have Mr. Cilento here, a man who has done so much for the labor movement.”

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BALCONY Director Lou Gordon

BALCONY Director Lou Gordon
thanked both men for their presence and support of BALCONY’s mission, ending his speech on a humorous note saying, “I hope to improve on my golf game so maybe next year I can be on a foursome that finally wins our tournament!”
News from BALCONY Archives
News From and About Our Members

NYAREA annual member luncheon Nov. 16, 2015

November 6th, 2015

In Ad Campaign, AFT Touts LaGuardia Overhaul

November 4th, 2015
NY State of Politics

The American Federation of Teachers is touting in a digital and print advertising campaign the pension fund investment in the plan overhaul of LaGuardia Airport — a pet project of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the entity formed as one of the main vehicles for the project to renovate the sagging airport, includes the California State Teachers’ Retirement System as an investory.

Buildings and Infrastructure Seminar - Nov. 5, 2015

October 27th, 2015

Professional Women in Construction (PWC) Presents Five World Class Leaders from the Public and Private Sector at Inaugural Buildings & Infrastructure Seminar, Thursday, November 5, 2015

On Thursday, November 5, Professional Women in Construction (PWC)’s inaugural Buildings & Infrastructure Seminar will offer an opportunity to network with heads of public agencies and executives at top firms about infrastructure and development in New York City and the broader area.

Maritime Labor Alliance Leadership Summit

October 17th, 2015

The presidents and other elected officials of the constituent unions comprising the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA) met for their semi-annual meeting in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 to review the state of maritime labor in the United States and to establish priorities for the upcoming year.

Are Freelancers To Blame For Our Slow Economic Recovery?

September 24th, 2015
Freelancer's Union Logo

The new workforce is questioning the call of consumerism. But that's not necessarily a bad thing says the founder of Freelancer's Union.

By Sara Horowitz

We know that freelancers are changing the way we think about work, with their flexible schedules and multiple employers. And we know that freelancing is on the rise: 53 million Americans are now freelancing, according to a 2014 study by the Freelancers Union and Elance-oDesk (now Upwork). But what people probably don’t realize is that this move toward freelancing will have a huge impact on our economy. Why? Because freelancers are working less and earning less than they did back when they had traditional full-time jobs. And that means they’re going to be spending less, too—in every facet of the marketplace.

If you take a look at consumption numbers, it’s already started: "You aren’t spending enough to boost the economy," read a CNN headline this spring. The economic recovery is ambling along with relatively positive monthly jobs growth, but Americans are not opening up their wallets. People are spending less on things like new furniture, clothes, and cars. The response we hear from analysts and sometimes even our government leaders is that we need to go out and buy more stuff—that it’s even our patriotic duty.

But freelancers are rejecting that maxim in droves. It’s outdated. It promotes needless consumption, and as an economic philosophy, it ignores the fundamental changes transforming the U.S. labor force and disrupting the traditional idea of success. This new workforce faces episodic income—not on a temporary basis, but as a fact of life. That leads to a very different mindset about earning and spending. They’re questioning the constant drumbeat of consumerism.
News from our Members Archives
BALCONY Issues in the News (Related Articles)

In the Village, the Peaceful Village…

October 6th, 2015

By Bill Hohlfeld

The Sustainable Port Chester Alliance continues to be clear regarding their expectations of Starwood Capital. If the $45 billion behemoth would like to come to Port Chester to expand their already massive portfolio of real estate holdings, they are going to have to share the wealth with those who make it possible for them to profit. A Community Benefits Agreement is a likely way to achieve that goal, and quickly became the theme of the Town Hall meeting held at the Port Chester Knights of Columbus building on Thursday, October 1.

The Alliance seeking this agreement consists of a variety of stakeholders, including local church parishioners, residents of both Port Chester and Rye, labor organizations and the regional chapter of the NAACP. Those members are standing together to ensure that Starwood’s proposed United Hospital project provides much needed affordable housing, adequate school funding, all required environmental safeguards and a source of good jobs for local workers. If, at first glance, the scenario has something of a “David and Goliath”aura about it, a closer look reveals some mighty heavy stones in Port Chester’s sling.

De Blasio bashes ‘pitiful’ ad by Transport Workers Union claiming NYC is heading back to ‘bad old days’

October 1st, 2015

BY Erin Durkin

Mayor de Blasio slammed an attack ad run against him by the Transport Workers Union as “pitiful” and dishonest Monday.

“That ad is pitiful. I think it’s misleading. It doesn’t tell people the truth,” de Blasio said the same day the union ran an ad in the Daily News and elsewhere criticizing his reluctance to give more city money to the MTA. “The truth is the MTA is the state’s responsibility.”

The ad shows de Blasio as the conductor of a subway car covered in graffiti, with the caption: “Where are you taking us?”

Laborers On Track for Gateway

September 21st, 2015

The single biggest infrastructure project in the country, the Gateway Program will expand critical transit capacity across the Northeast Corridor.

Cuomo, Christie want feds to pay for half of cross-Hudson tunnel but give them full control

September 15th, 2015

By Andrew J. Hawkins

Govs. Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie have a message for the Obama administration on the long-stalled plan to build a new cross-Hudson train tunnel: Let's go halfsies.

In a letter to President Barack Obama Tuesday, Messrs. Cuomo and Christie offered to cover $10 billion of the estimated $20 billion infrastructure project, as long as the federal government pays for the rest. The governors said the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey should finance and direct construction of the new tunnel—a clear bid by both men to retain control over the megaproject that Sen. Chuck Schumer and transit advocates say should be overseen by an entity unaffiliated with either state.

"We believe the public is frustrated by the perception that government effectively accomplishes too little," the governors wrote. "In both of our states, we work every day to show government can and does perform. We both always seek to cut the bureaucratic red tape, determine the obstacles, overcome them and move forward."

Worker Exploitation in the New Economy

September 15th, 2015

By Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

New York, NY - Last month the New York Times published an exposé on working conditions at the retail giant Amazon that, in a mere three days, generated more online comments than any other piece of reporting the paper has published.

The article’s revelation, as perceived by many, is that some of Amazon’s white-collar workers are treated as harshly as its blue-collar employees. Implicit in this public outrage is the troubling acceptance that harsh treatment is what blue-collar workers in the United States should expect.

As a longtime champion of organized labor and unions in New York City, I take great issue with a concern for workers that applies only to some. If the real story in the Amazon exposé is that worker exploitation in the New Economy is merely a continuation of the worker repression of old, then we need to push reset now and make this an opportunity for dramatic change.
BALCONY Issues in the News Archives