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Story - News

Aug 27, 2014 12:07 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Department Of Labor Confirms Prevailing Wages Paid At Gabreski

Editor's Note: The story has been corrected to reflect the correct name of the firm in question, Ponsolle Brothers Incorporated.
Sep 3, 2014 4:41 PM

UPDATE: Wednesday, September 3, 2 p.m.

A representative from the New York State Department of Labor confirmed that Mr. Bloom's company is paying prevailing wages.

Laborers on the project are making $61.81 per hour, including benefits. Masons at the site are earning $76.89 per hour, including benefits. Both hourly wages are above the prevailing wage of $46.44 per hour.

UPDATE: Thursday, August 28, 4 p.m.

Despite the protests that continued on Thursday, the president of the paving company hired to do paving work at the Hamptons Business District, as well as representatives from Rechler Equity, the project’s developers, said his firm was, in fact, paying its employees fairly and up to the state standard.

“We are paying prevailing wages and I have the documentation to back that up,” Marc Bloom, president of Ponsolle Brothers Incorporated said on Thursday afternoon. “I follow the law to a T, that I pay correctly.”

Mr. Bloom declined to provide documentation to The Press.

Rechler Equity Director of Development and Construction Andrew Renter also issued an emailed statement, “We have employed both union and non-union contractors for work on this project who are all required to pay prevailing wages to their workers, certified payroll records are submitted monthly to ensure each contractor is in compliance with this requirement and all New York State Department of Labor regulations.”

Original Story:

Several members of the General Building Laborers’ Local 66 union are protesting at the entrance to Francis S. Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, alleging that the company hired to lay bricks for one of the buildings now under construction in the Hamptons Business District—Ponsolle Brothers Incorporated—is not paying its workers prevailing wages.

The protesters—holding signs that read, “To the public: Ponsoll does not employ members of or have a contract with the General Building Laborers Local Union 66”—gathered near the entrance to the airport at around 8 a.m. on Wednesday and stood next to a giant, inflatable rat. They were also observed blowing whistles to gain attention.

“Either we’re going to flip them to be with us, or he’s going to need to get up out of here,” Darryl Harris, organizer for Local 66, said on Wednesday morning, referring to the contractor.

A representative from Ponsolle Brothers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Representatives of Rechler Equity, the Plainview-based developers behind the Hamptons Business District at Gabreski, did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Don Grande, a bricklayer business agent for Long Island union workers, said he heard about the problem earlier this week and attempted to speak with the owner of Ponsolle Brothers—but with no success. “We tried to give the contractor a warning,” he said on Wednesday, “but now we will be pursuing legal action.”

Mr. Grande said he is trying to obtain payroll documents to prove that the workers are being paid less than the prevailing wage, which now stands at $46.44 per hour.

Suffolk County officials, who own and oversee the airport, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Mr. Harris said that until Ponsolle Brothers, Inc. joins the union, he will be at the airport’s entrance protesting with more inflatable rats.

“He’s going to join us or he’s going to be out,” he said. “Poverty pay is not the American way.”

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The union guys don't give their inflatable rat's rear end about the non-union workers or their wages. They just want their cut of the wages of anyone who dares to try to work in their industry. It's all about the union and it's bosses lining their own pockets and driving out competition. While a union wage may be $43/hr a good chunk of that must be paid to the union so the worker actually takes home less than the $40/hr non-union worker. And since when is $40/hr "poverty pay"!
By localEH (427), East Hampton on Aug 27, 14 2:17 PM
And, let the union bashing begin...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 27, 14 5:20 PM
The term "prevailing wage" is a handy scam. It sounds like the union is fighting for the poor guys who are making illegally low wages. First - according the NY State Department of Labor, who is THE authority on prevailing wage, the lowest paid Local 66 laborer in Suffolk County has a rate of $51.45 (wages and benefits). It goes up to $61.81, The guys standing around the rat - assuming they are actually union members, not officials or hired picketers, aren't working for a reason. They cost too ...more
By Liman (30), Montauk on Aug 27, 14 6:28 PM
1 member liked this comment
Prevailing Wage does not have to be paid to workers on all construction sites. The GC puts the job out to bid and whoever has the right price gets the job, Union or nonunion the GC does not care, as long as job is done to spec........Federal or State jobs must be priced with prevailing wages calculated in estimates.
By DJ9222 (85), southampton on Aug 28, 14 1:51 AM
CORRECT!!! The union goons have nothing to do with what's happening on that site. The GC has contracted a company to do the work, obviously the non union company that was hired came in with a more competitive price and probably a faster time than a union company. Free enterprise at it's finest.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Aug 28, 14 6:07 AM
Tough luck most union members look for was to work less and get paid more for it. Competition is good if someone is willing to work for less too bad.
By maxwell (169), speonk on Aug 28, 14 9:23 PM
to maxwell:


" Competition is good if someone is willing to work for less too bad."
Whatever it is that you do for a living, I guarantee that I can find someone to do it better and cheaper as long as the only criterion is competitive advantage.

You are surrounded by social welfare protections of which you are willfully ignorant or of which you are in denial.

Unions are simply ...more
By highhatsize (4217), East Quogue on Aug 28, 14 10:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
If an employer has employees who qualify for aid, the employer is the one receiving the "handout"...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Aug 31, 14 9:04 PM
No wonder that there are very few brick houses or buildings built any more!
By StanleyMargolies (1), Whitestone, New York on Aug 29, 14 11:45 PM
highhatsize you know so little about so much it's amazing, i guess you didn't understand what I said.Lets look at the LIRR union which has no competition. They get a pension, social security and they still fake disability, no competition for the railroad. If every house had to be built with union labor only you'd be paying double. Lets look at the school unions Long Islanders pay more than twice the national average. By the way I work in a field where there are no unions no work guarantees and if ...more
By maxwell (169), speonk on Aug 31, 14 8:35 PM
1 member liked this comment
As a business owner, I would never hire union workers.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Sep 1, 14 6:10 PM
Prevailing Wage guarantees over payment for the smae work that could be performed by the many expert craftsman that we have out here. Its the same everywhere. It guarantees that the highways we build will cost more so the pols will have to tax us more. In addition to this municipal and school contracts allow for the accrual of sick, personal, vacation days and that they are as good as cash when you exit. Its laughable that Cuomo or any politician negotiated with the MTA and the LIRR. Here is some ...more
By North Sea Citizen (568), North Sea on Sep 5, 14 6:21 AM
Why **** is so expensive:

11,457.8 Billions of Dollars (11.4578T)
Weekly, Ending Monday, Seasonally Adjusted, M2, Updated: 2014-08-28 3:51 PM CDT

For REFERENCE (*Weimar Republic):

Monday January 17th 2005: 6,405 Billions of Dollars ($6.405T)

Monday January 16th 1995: 3,495 Billions of Dollars ($3.495T)

Monday January 14th 1985: 2,311 Billions of Dollars ($2.311T)

5 TRILLION printed out of the clear blue sky in the last six years.

Do ...more
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 6, 14 4:01 AM
Laborers on the project are making $61.81 per hour; Masons at the site are earning $76.89 per hour, including benefits.

Both hourly wages are above the prevailing wage of $46.44 per hour.

Dang, I'm in the wrong business!
By whatapity (106), Tuckahoe on Sep 6, 14 6:59 PM