New York’s Department of Construction and Housing announced Tuesday that it will require companies to hire and train workers from nonunion contractors.
The announcement follows a series of lawsuits filed by unions and civil rights groups alleging that contractors are not properly paid and that union contracts are not enforceable.
It is the latest move by the city’s Department to address the issue of unionization in the construction field.
“We are asking for complete overhaul of the entire construction industry,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement.
“We know that the city cannot be a leader in this area, and this action will allow the city to take a serious look at how we get more of the work done.”
De Blasio has said that his administration will take a close look at the city government’s labor policies.
Construction workers were not required to sign a contract with a union when they entered the workforce.
The city has been the focus of criticism from unions and other groups because it has been slow to hire more workers to replace retiring workers.
New York has had a steady stream of construction workers since construction began in the 1960s, but the industry has been hit hard by the recession and the Great Recession.
In January, New York announced a plan to hire as many as 2,000 more construction workers in the next year.
The state’s largest union, the United Steelworkers, had said in February that the proposed hiring plan would have a “massive” impact on the labor force.
The plan was later dropped from the agenda, but it was criticized for its size and for its proposed timetable.
The New York plan also called for a “complete overhaul” of the city labor force, which the department says will include hiring more construction laborers.
The department said that the number of new construction jobs will be based on the number and type of workers the city needs to keep up with rising demand.
“We know from experience that the construction sector is not a place where we can grow fast and create a lot of new jobs,” Commissioner of Construction Anthony Ramey said.
“This change will ensure that our construction workforce is able to meet our growing demands in the years ahead.”
De Blasio’s plan will include requiring contractors to hire workers from union-represented contractors, as well as hiring workers from private companies and private training programs.
The new hiring requirements will also require companies that are not union-sponsored to provide their employees with training.
DeBlasio also ordered the Department of Buildings to launch a review of the industry and hire a task force to examine how to improve the industry.
The review will include public outreach to unions and labor groups, a review by the City Council of labor practices, and a public awareness campaign that will feature the city skyline and a narrator telling the public what the department has done to improve its industry.
Construction is a lucrative career for many workers, but in recent years the industry’s job growth has slowed.
Construction employment in the city increased by just 6.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, according to the latest Census Bureau data.