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The Ghost of Bloombergs Past: Prevailing Wage Challenges Finally Killed Off in NYC

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A judge has ended, once and for all, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s legal challenge to a city council bill concerning the prevailing wage for building service workers.  Since its passage in 2012, the law has been challenged both by Mayor Bloomberg and a lower court which ruled that state minimum wage laws superseded the bill.  

Mayor Bill de Blasio, however, promised to implement the law during his campaign, which showed his understanding of the value of the city’s workers.  Under the bill, building services workers at facilities which received over $1 million in subsidies from the city must be paid a prevailing wage of over $20 an hour.  

City lawyer Jeff Friedlander said in a statement, “Today’s ruling will now allow the administration to advance its goal of expanding the number of jobs that pay a living wage to hardworking New Yorkers.”

Mayor Bloomberg vetoed the bill 2012 claiming it would “discourage companies from doing business with the city.”  After the council overrode his veto the Mayor brought forward the lawsuit.

Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Appelbaum called the judge’s decision a “great step for working people in New York.” His union, along with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ, are the most impacted by the bill.  Applebaum added:

“We are pleased that the mayor can push for the advancement of more jobs that pay a living wage to low wage workers.  Now, every-day, working people will be able to afford to live in New York City.”


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