Whose Economic Development?

Members of Laborers Local 785 protesting the use of non-local, non-unionized labor for a four month long asbestos abatement project in Binghamton University’s Student Wing in March. They were asking for their members, who under state law are paid the same as non-union workers, to be represented amongst those performing the work, subcontracted out to JAG Environmental of Syracuse. Their overtures were consistently rebuffed. Without work, they took their case to students, staff, and faculty.

Building off the workers critique we ask: how can Binghamton University be the driver of our local economy if local workers are not prioritized? The BU administration and the State of New York claim that investments in universities are investments in the community. It’s time for Gov. Cuomo, SUNY Chancellor Zimpher, and President Stenger to live up to their commitments to the local people!

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