NYC Coalition of Six IUOE Locals Endorse Kallos for Safer Construction
New York, NY – Today, Ben Kallos received the endorsement of the New York City Coalition of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) made up of six local unions representing 18,000 members, for a total of thirteen labor organization endorsements as he runs to be the next Manhattan Borough President succeeding Gale Brewer who is term-limited.
“During his time in the City Council no one has worked harder than Ben Kallos to protect the safety of tens of thousands of men and women in the construction industry. He understands that in order to ensure their safety and the safety of the millions of New Yorkers, commuters, and tourists who pass by construction sites each day, it is critically important that all workers be properly trained. He knows and continuously advocates that the integrity and rigor of our procedures for licensing these workers must be maintained and, when necessary, strengthened,” said Edwin Christian, President of the 18,000 member coalition. “Ben Kallos understands the significance of those credentials. Our members believe Ben Kallos has the proper credentials to be Manhattan’s next Borough President.”
New York City Coalition of Operating Engineers consists of the following six IUOE locals:
- Local 14 - Edwin L. Christian, President
- Local 15 - Thomas A. Callahan, Treasurer
- Local 30 - William Lynn, Recording Corresponding Secretary
- Local 94 - Kuba Brown, Vice President
- Local 211 – Nelson J. Más, Trustee
- Local 891 - Robert Troeller, Trustee
The members of the New York City Coalition of Operating Engineers operate the cranes that soar above our skyline; bore the tunnels that provide our water; inspect the buildings that are constructed throughout the City; and operate the most complex and energy efficient heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems in our hospitals, schools, and residential and commercial towers. All of their members are trained, certified, and licensed.
“I am proud to have the support of building inspectors who keep our construction safe, those building our city from above and below, saving energy, and keeping our public schools open and running,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “I will continue to work with my brothers and sisters in labor who actually do the work like our operating engineers to ensure we build our city sustainably and safely.”
The endorsement of the IUOE is in addition to seven unions that endorsed last week:
- Communications Workers of America Local 1101
- Heat and Frost Insulators Local 12
- New York Professional Nurses Union
- Organization of Staff Analysts (OSA)
- Steamfitters Local 638
- Sheet Metal Workers Local 28
- Utility Workers Union of America Local 1-2
Ben Kallos, is a Democrat and Co-Chair of the Progressive Caucus who has distinguished in his unwavering support for working families who have organized into labor unions. As a legislator, Kallos authored the law to count every injury and life lost on a construction site with steep fines for disreputable contractors that would hide injuries on the job (Local Law 78 of 2017). He was also a co-prime sponsor of laws to require site safety supervisors and safety training on construction sites. Kallos has also carried legislation to require prevailing wage, training, and apprenticeship on city-subsidized construction projects as well as to offer private sector workers to an auto-IRA retirement savings plan.
As Chair of the Land Use Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions, and Concession, Kallos “used his position to grill developers and city officials over deals that had been struck by the de Blasio administration ... like courtroom dramas — grilling housing agency officials and other applicants for details on financing, affordability levels and benefits awarded to workers on a given site and chastising them when they couldn’t provide answers...” according to Politico.
A graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School he first used his law degree to as a union-side labor lawyer at Gorlick, Kravitz and Listhaus. The firm worked with international unions to negotiated collective bargaining agreements and recovered health and retirement benefits from employers who would steal from their workers. As an Associate he worked on a team of lawyers for the International Union of Operating Engineers the Delphi Bankruptcy, a spin-off of General Motors and the largest bankruptcy in the domestic auto industry at the time, where Delphi was seeking to reduce wages and end health insurance and retirement benefits for current and retired workers.
“I saw first hand that something was wrong with our country when the laws helped big corporations get out of paying their workers a retirement they spent their lives working for only to pay executives who ran the same company into the ground in a matter of years millions. I got into government to fight for workers from the inside. I realized that it was only as an elected official that could I stand with my brother and sisters to hold those with money and power accountable to the workers and residents of our great city,” concluded Council Member Ben Kallos.