For generations, the New York City labor movement has remained strong, as the Big Apple continues to redevelop. There are still problems, however, and members of the labor movement are entering the political arena to try to fix those issues.
New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters (NYCDCC) President Paul Capurso is excited about the progress of the labor movement and gave an update on what is happening in New York City on America’s Work Force Union Podcast. He explained what the NYCDCC is doing to get Carpenters involved in politics and more.
Capurso said the NYCDCC has taken an aggressive approach to encouraging political participation in recent election cycles. He said their membership has taken to the program well. Although New York state and New York City are union-friendly, there are still individuals and groups seeking to chip away at the progress of the labor movement.
Carpenters RISE is an educational program devised by the NYCDCC to educate members on running for office. Capurso said getting involved in the political process is the best way to ensure union interests get the attention they deserve.
In addition to teaching members how to run for office, the program also educates members on how to recognize those who support their interests. While politics are certainly hyperpolarized, union members can still learn how to better identify the politicians best positioned to look out for them.
Capurso said the NYCDCC broke with the other trades in the city and supported Eric Adams in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary – a decision he said was a smart choice, as Adams was ultimately victorious in a tough field of candidates.
New York City wage fraud
Although New York City has a strong union presence, the construction industry is still plagued by wage fraud and a few other issues. Capurso explained how some contractors will hire a list of subcontractors who pay unskilled workers in cash and take advantage of desperate workers.
To combat this, the NYCDCC has been driving a sign truck near jobsites protesting the wage theft going on at certain projects. He encouraged listeners to contact their representatives about wage theft, as it is a major issue in the construction industry.