Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson recipient of the Edward J. Malloy Memorial Leadership Award

Assemblymember Harry Bronson receives the Edward J. Malloy Leadership Award.
(from l to r, Gary LaBarbera, President, New York City Building and Construction Trades Council, Anne Malloy Trenkle, (Ed Malloy’s daughter) Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson, James Cahill, President, New York State Building and Construction Trades Council.)

Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson proudly announces he has received the Edward J. Malloy Memorial Leadership Award for his leadership in fighting for workers. Bronson joins previous recipients, most recently Secretary Hillary Clinton in receiving this honor. Previous recipients were Senator Chuck Schumer, North American Trades Unions President Sean McGarvey, and NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

For more than 20 years, Edward J. Malloy served as President of the New York State Building Construction Trades Council making significant contributions to the labor movement. From politics to internal union affairs, Ed’s choices were guided by his heart without ever losing sight of the struggles fought by those before him. These core values guided his every move. To recognize these ideals and Ed’s accomplishments, the Council created the Edward J. Malloy Memorial Leadership Award in 2013 and is presented annually to someone who exemplifies Ed’s commitment to the hardworking men and women of New York State. Ed was a leader who tackled problems head on with a primary goal to protect and keep his members working.

This year’s Edward J. Molloy Memorial Leadership Award recipient is Assemblymember Harry B. Bronson. Assemblymember Bronson shares Ed’s principles – his heart guides his, and he stands up for what’s right, even when it’s not easy to do so. As the parameters of the award states, “Those courageous enough to take a stand should be recognized."

“I am humbled by this recognition. Ed Malloy is one of the most significant figures of the labor movement in recent history,” said Harry Bronson. “As President of the State Building Trades, his number one priority was always protecting his members and making sure they had work to support themselves and their families. For Eddie, as for me, it is about creating opportunities for good paying jobs, with benefits in a safe workplace.”

Like Ed, Assemblymember Bronson has worked to promote the construction industry, by advancing programs to provide access to careers in the building trades for young people, veterans, minorities and women. They both have worked tirelessly to create opportunities to ensure people across the state have access to good-paying jobs and safe job sites.

James Cahill, President of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, said, “Assemblyman Bronson has demonstrated exceptional leadership on issues important to New York’s construction workers, and we think his dedication to the working men and women of this State should be recognized. We are proud to present him with this year’s award. It has truly been our honor working with him.”

Assemblymember Bronson knows that paying good wages with benefits is essential to helping workers have the earnings to provide for themselves and their families. But requiring prevailing wage is only one side of the equation. The state needs to ensure that workers actually receive the wages they are owed. For this reason, Ed Malloy worked with legislature to pass such a law that made it easier for District Attorneys across the state to bring charges against dead beat contractors who cheated their workers.

David Young, President of the Rochester Building and Construction Trades Council said, “I know Harry’s commitment to the local building trades and I have been honored to work with him on the many projects that have benefitted Monroe County. Like Ed, I know that in his heart he will always do what is right for our community and our families. This award is well deserved recognition of that dedication.”

During that same time frame, Ed also worked with the legislature, worked to pass the worker misclassification bill to prevent contractors from cheating their workers by misclassifying them as independent contractors. This law leveled the playing field among contractors, got workers the wages and benefits they deserved and helped put taxpayer dollars into the system.

Today, Bronson continues this work with the Public Works definition bill. Similar to the Project Labor Agreement (PLA) statute passed with Ed’s help into law in 2008 which codified the use of PLAs, the Public Works bill will clarify those situations in which the payment of prevailing wages is required. Hard working women and men should not be subject to a court’s narrow interpretation of what is or is not a public works project- which is why a public works definition needs to be written into the statute. The goal is make sure that prevailing wages are required whenever taxpayer resources are used because government resources should not be used to undermined wages and benefits. Passage of this bill will simply restore the law to its original intent, consistent with the mandate found in New York’s Constitution. The result will ensure a safe, skilled, local workforce capable of completing superior projects on time and on budget.

With Ed in mind, the Assembly has passed this legislation once, and is ready to debate and pass the bill again.