Tag: Economy

Feb 15

2024

Workers protest loophole in state wage law

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  With the first glints of sun coming up over Kenmore Avenue, slowly burning off the morning’s 22-degree freeze, several dozen construction union members rallied Wednesday in protest of developer Michael Wopperer, hoping to highlight loopholes in New York’s prevailing wage law. Wopperer, the tradesmen and organizers said, had amassed some $17 million in public subsidies for his $23 million renovation of the former Wood & Brooks factory just across the road, yet will not be required to pay prevailing wage to the workers he’s employing on the project.  Wopperer told Investigative Post he’s employing some union workers on the[...]

Posted 2 weeks ago

Feb 2

2024

Unions, lawmakers renew push for IDA reform

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Union officials, lawmakers and good-government groups gathered in Albany this week to announce a renewed push for industrial development agency reform. Photo by Arabella Saunders, New York Focus. A version of this story was first published by New York Focus, a nonprofit news publication investigating power in New York. Sign up for their newsletter here. The fight to curb tax breaks issued by industrial development agencies has a powerful new ally: labor unions. Good government groups, legislators, a local development authority board member and their latest allies from the statewide teachers union and the AFL-CIO gathered in Albany Wednesday to urge the[...]

Posted 4 weeks ago

Dec 28

2023

J. Dale Shoemaker’s subsidy reporting

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Another year coming to a close. Another 525,600 minutes (almost) expired. As Jonathan Larson asked three decades ago: How do you measure a year? It’s an especially tough question for a reporter like myself who writes about the economy and economic development. There’s any number of metrics — interest rates are up, now steadying; inflation is up, now slowly coming down; wages are up slightly; so is rent — but all of those numbers tend to miss the big picture. Are we in a recession? Or is the economy doing great and we’re just in a “vibe-secession,” caused by our[...]

Posted 2 months ago

Aug 21

2023

New York lax on wage theft collections

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ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. Documented reports on  special interests in politics. Saprina James was hopeful when she received a letter in 2019 about her wage theft claim against her former employer. The letter said the New York State Department of Labor had substantiated her claim and ordered Mugisha F. Sahini and his company, Riverside Line, to pay her more than $70,000 in back wages. “I was feeling good that the government was on my side, and that I would soon get[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Nov 12

2020

Heaney discusses economy on WBEN

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Jim Heaney discusses his story on the state of the Buffalo Niagara economy with Susan Rose and Brian Mazurowski on NewsRadio 930WBEN. Bottom line: fewer people are employed here than in 30 years and our recovery has slowed.

Posted 3 years ago

Nov 11

2020

Record low employment in Buffalo Niagara

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The coronavirus pandemic has stripped Buffalo-Niagara of so many jobs that the region employs fewer people in the private sector than it has in at least 30 years. The metro area was down 46,000 private sector jobs in September, compared with a year earlier. That amounts to a 9.6 percent drop. That leaves the labor market with 431,300 full- and part-time jobs. “It’s the smallest private-sector workforce in 30 years, by a good deal,” said E.J. McMahon, senior fellow at the Empire Center for Public Policy, who conducted the jobs analysis for Investigative Post. Heaney discusses his story on WBEN[...]

Posted 3 years ago

Feb 23

2016

Buffalo trade unions lagging in diversity

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  Construction in Buffalo is booming. SolarCity. Children’s Hospital. The University at Buffalo Medical School. Taxpayer-funded projects like these are employing thousands of union construction workers. But the boom has resurrected concerns that the unions have made little progress over the past decade in diversifying their membership. While minorities make up 17 percent of Erie County’s workforce and more than half of the city’s population, they account for only 11 percent of unionized construction workers, according to the most recent figures available. What’s more, there’s been virtually no change in the racial makeup of the building trades over the past[...]

Posted 8 years ago
Investigative Post

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