Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Buffalo CBA advocates get the cold shoulder

The Buffalo Common Council and CBA advocates are continuing to push for a CBA for the Canal Side project, using 12 acres of city-owned land as leverage, but the quasi-public Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation wants nothing to do with negotiations. The impasse at the moment seems to be about a mandatory living wage requirement, but the CBA coalition says that the initial demands, including the wage provisions, are just a starting point.

Maybe somebody should remind ECHDC that under New York State law, it's supposed to "give primary consideration to local needs and desires and...foster local initiative and participation in connection with the planning and development of its projects." It's also supposed to "work closely, consult and cooperate with local elected officials and community leaders at the earliest practicable time." That would be section 16 of the Urban Development Corporation Act.

The law doesn't mandate a CBA or a living wage, but it suggests that refusing to meet with local groups or officials is not appropriate behavior. As the Council President said, "It's always better to talk.... Let's see how far apart they really are."

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