A Moving Judgement: Judge Rejects NYC Comptroller's Pro-Union Pay Scale

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The Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc. (MMA), the leading organization of professional moving companies in New York City, applauds the May 6, 2011 decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger to reject the prevailing wage determination of the New York City Comptroller John Liu. The decision represents a major victory for moving industry workers as well as New York City taxpayers.

Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc. (MMA)

"The court correctly deemed it absurd for the City to pay movers twice as much for the same work as they are paid on private and federal jobs,” said Claude M. Millman, counsel to Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc.

The Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc. (MMA), the leading organization of professional moving companies in New York City, applauds the May 6, 2011 decision by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Alice Schlesinger to reject the prevailing wage determination of the New York City Comptroller John Liu (New York State Supreme Court Index No. 112694/10). The decision represents a major victory for moving industry workers as well as New York City taxpayers. MMA members are signatories to union contracts with Local 1212 of the United Service Workers Union, International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (Local 1212).

The prevailing wage proposed by Comptroller Liu for municipal (New York City) projects was nearly twice the actual average wage of other similar contracts. The MMA and Local 1212 saw that this would produce an unfair wage scale and according to Justice Schlesinger, “The comptroller’s prevailing wage schedule risks producing inconsistent and arguably absurd results.” For example, a moving company awarded contracts for a municipal contract would have to pay workers more than twice as much – $38.90 per hour – as they would have to pay for a private or federal government moving project – approximately $19.00 per hour. This vastly different wage scale sparked major debate in a time where municipalities and union workers are reexamining their relationships nationwide. The MMA and Local 1212 were against this exorbitant wage determination and the methodology in which it was calculated. The Comptroller’s prevailing wage schedule for movers was based solely on one union, Local 814’s upper tier collective bargaining agreement.

On May 12, 2011, an appeal was submitted by the City’s attorneys. "The City's appeal will interfere with our union members' rights to compete for jobs. Our members have negotiated fair wages and the City is preventing them from getting work at those wages,” said Kevin Barry, Delegate, Local 1212 of the United Service Workers Union, International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades.

“The judge’s conclusion that ‘Local 814’s rates do not reflect the prevailing wage’ revealed that their wages are as inflated as the rats they’ve blown up at our job sites,” said Robert Koncelik Jr., President of the Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc.

“New York City’s appeal is doomed and will just consume scarce taxpayer dollars. The court correctly deemed it absurd for the City to pay movers twice as much for the same work as they are paid on private and federal jobs,” said Claude M. Millman, counsel to Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc.

The matter has been remanded to the Comptroller’s Office for a determination of the actual prevailing wage schedule for movers in accordance with Section 230 of the Labor Law and the terms of the most recent decision.

The Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc., members are signatories to union contracts with the Local 1212, United Service Workers Union, International Union of Journeymen and Allied Trades (“Local 1212”).

For more information regarding Metropolitan Movers Association, Inc., please visit http://www.metmovers.org, or call Robert W. Koncelik, Jr. (718) 539-4480, Ext. 228.

Members of MMA are as follows:
Santini Moving & Storage Co., A-1 First Class Viking Moving & Storage, The Advance Group, All Season Movers, Inc., Business Relocation Services, Compass Moving & Storage, LLC, Corporate Relocation Systems, Inc., ESM Van & Storage, Furniture Exchange Logistics, Inc., Integrated Business Solutions, JD Carton & Son Metro, Liberty Moving & Storage Co., Inc., Service West, Sher-Del Transfer, Inc., Time Moving & Storage, Inc., Tri State Moving Services, Universal Moving & Storage Co.

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