Letter: The construction industry demands accountability | Letters

Wage theft and tax evasion are becoming widespread problems in the construction industry. Entrepreneurs looking to cut corners cheat on their taxes, then cheat workers on the wages and benefits they’ve earned. Labor laws exist to protect blue collar workers, but the state cannot enforce the law without being able to identify contractors on public works projects.

Fortunately, Senator Sean Ryan has a bill in Albany that would change that. Contractor registration (S5994/A1338; Ryan/Magnerelli) will ensure that when public money is spent, it is law-abiding contractors who carry out the construction work. Registration prevents large developers from hiding behind layers of contractors to escape liability.

It’s time for the shady entrepreneurs to come out of the shadows, because the underground economy isn’t just hurting workers. When contractors cheat in their business activities, all taxpayers are forced to make up the difference and honest contractors are punished for playing by the rules.

Albany needs to take action this session on contractor registration, and we appreciate Ryan for standing up for blue-collar workers. Fairness in the construction industry starts with responsibility.

North Atlantic States Carpenters Regional Council

Western New York Business Manager

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