The Blog

Politicians Attend Ceremonial PLA Signing for Vineyard Wind

  A number of local and national politicians appeared with the owners of Vineyard Wind and various  building trades unions for a ceremonial signing of the project labor agreement (PLA) for this offshore wind project last Friday in New Bedford.     Vineyard Wind is touted as the nation’s first large-scale offshore wind project.  The PLA was agreed to some time ago by the private owners, headed up by the Avangrid Renewables/Iberdrola Group and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners, major European alternative energy companies.  Vineyard Wind, like many alternative energy projects, is a private development with government support.  The project was languishing but became an early priority of the Biden Administration.     “ABC’s view is that private owners should be free to make their own decisions on their projects.  With the current political climate and the union favoritism of the Biden Administrati ...

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Massachusetts Legislature Unanimously Passes $48.1B Budget

  BOSTON, MA. APRIL 27, 2021: The Massachusetts State House in Boston, Massachusetts. By STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE (Boston Herald)   PUBLISHED: July 9, 2021 at 9:04 p.m. | UPDATED: July 9, 2021 at 9:04 p.m.   More than a week into the fiscal year, the House and Senate agreed in bipartisan fashion to a $48.1 billion annual state budget and shipped the proposal to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk. Both branches voted unanimously to approve the revised spending plan, which calls for permanently enshrining the state’s controversial film tax credit program, continuing to delay implementation of a charitable giving tax deduction, and setting aside $350 million to buttress a multi-year education funding reform law. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, who co-chaired the conference committee that resolved differences between the House and Senate budget proposals, said the vote will “mark a capstone to a volatile 16-month ...

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State Accepting Applications for COVID Sick-Leave Reimbursement

  Massachusetts is now accepting applications from employers for reimbursement of their costs in granting Massachusetts emergency paid sick leave for COVID-related absences, the MA Exec. Office of Administration and Finance has announced.  Under a law passed earlier this year, from May 28, 2021 until September 30, 2021 or the exhaustion of $75 million in program funds as determined by the Commonwealth, whichever is earlier, employers must offer Massachusetts employees leave time for qualifying reasons related to COVID-19.  Further information on the law is available at Effective immediately, employers may apply for reimbursement by logging into the Department of Revenue’s MassTaxConnect website.  Further information, including detailed instructions, is available here: ...

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Cruz Companies Complete Topping Out Ceremony for Michael E. Haynes Arms Building

  BOSTON, MA – On Tuesday, July 6th Cruz Companies celebrated the progress on one of its newest developments, the Michael E. Haynes Arms Building, with a topping out ceremony. Members of the construction crew gathered at the Roxbury site to commemorate the completion of the building’s steel structure. Guests signed the beam before lifting it atop the structure.     The tradition is meant to honor the safe completion of the steel structure. It is said that an Evergreen is raised to the top along with the beam as a symbol of good luck on the remaining construction. It is standard to also position an American flag on the beam. In this case, a Cape Verdean flag was also present; a nod to the roots of Cruz Companies.    “We have been doing business in the Roxbury neighborhood since 1948. Many of our employees are residents and we believe in strengthening the community ...

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Cruz Companies Donates $250,000 to the Walter Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund

  Anyone who’s spent time with John Cruz has likely heard him say that companies can’t grow without attracting and retaining good people.  John once again proved that he means it when the Cruz Companies recently donated $250,000 to establish the Walter Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund at Boston’s Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT). Beginning this fall, the scholarship will provide financial support for up to two students every academic year who live in zip codes assigned to Dorchester, Roxbury or Mattapan in Boston; have demonstrated financial need; and are studying construction management, HVAC-R, Practical Electricity, or a related program area at BFIT.  Students should have already been enrolled for at least one semester to demonstrate their dedication to the program. Walter Williams was a longtime Roxbury resident.  During a career in city government and as a community organizer he played a key role in establishing the Bosto ...

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Draft Decision for Masonry Classifications Recognizes Open Shop Work Practices

  A draft decision regarding the prevailing wage work classifications for five masonry tasks has been issued by the MA Dept. of Labor Standards.  This work, which involves patching, cutting and cleaning brick and concrete, has been in question for a number of years, and was the subject on a hearing earlier this year.     “We commend the Baker/Polito Administration for putting a fair and open process in place for making prevailing wage classification decisions, and we believe this masonry decision is a major step forward in recognizing industry practices and not relying solely on union bargaining agreements,” said ABC MA President Greg Beeman.    The draft decision finds the both laborers/mason tenders and bricklayers can perform four of the five tasks: rubbing block walls; cutting joints; rubbing and cleaning bricks; and installing wall ties.  The decision holds that the fifth task, patching block walls, is classified as exclusively ...

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Legislature Overrides Governor’s Veto of Holyoke Soldiers’ Home PLA

  Last week the Legislature voted to override Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of the project labor agreement (PLA) for the construction of a new Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.     The vote was generally along party lines, with Democrats voting to override and Republicans backing Gov. Baker’s veto.  Senate Ways and Means Chairman Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) was the only Democrat to support Gov. Baker’s veto.   The House also adopted directing the Committee on Racial Equity, Civil Rights and Inclusion to investigate diversity in the construction industry and any barriers that may exist to minority, women, and veteran-owned contractors and their ability to access public contracts, including PLAs.   The Soldiers’ Home legislation also includes a provision to establish an Access, Inclusion and Diversity committee to monitor results on contractors' meeting diversity hiring goals for minority, women and veteran workers, mandated ...

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Wage Theft Working Group Holds First Meeting

  A legislative working group on wage theft held its first meeting last week and ABC MA and our allied construction and business groups reiterated our concerns over the legislation and its approach to hold  businesses liable for wage violations of any business they hire.     The group, led by House Labor and Workforce Committee Chairman Josh Cutler, includes construction and business associations who oppose the current versions of wage theft legislation and labor unions and worker advocates who support it.  Cutler said that while there are areas of significant disagreement, he hopes to be able to achieve a reasonable compromise through the working group.     ABC and the other construction and business groups all said they support the intent of the legislation but that as written it is unfair to the state’s thousands of good businesses, who follow the laws and who should not be held criminally liable if they unknowingly hire a business ...

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Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology Announces $250,000 Gift from Cruz Companies

  “Walter Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund” honors legacy of local resident, supports students pursuing Construction Management, HVAC&R, Practical Electricity, related programs   BOSTON – The Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) announced the creation of the Walter Williams Endowed Scholarship Fund. The endowed scholarship fund is a result of a generous gift from Cruz Companies and will financially support students from Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan who pursue a course of study in construction management, HVAC&R, practical electricity, or a related program area at BFIT.  The scholarship fund was established in memory of the late Walter Earl Williams, a longtime Roxbury resident and graduate of Boston Trade High School. After serving in the United States Navy, Mr. Williams worked in city government and as a community organizer. Mr. Williams played a key role in establishing the Boston Residency Jobs Policy, a 1983 ordinance which required th ...

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ABC MA Member Firm Metro Walls Acoustical Division Welcomes Jim Medaglia to the Team

  MANCHESTER, NH – Metro Walls would like to welcome Jim Medaglia to their team. Jim will serve as Metro’s General Manger for the fast-growing Acoustical Ceiling Division.    With A degree in engineering from UNH and years of experience in commercial Construction and ceilings, Jim will be a perfect fit to oversee the estimating, project management, and quality control for this division.    “I’ve known and worked with the guys from Metro Walls for years. Their pleasant and laid-back demeaner, combined with their continued growth, makes them an easy company to work for”, said Jim.    “We’re excited that Metro’s ACT Division has experienced so much growth this past year. With Jim overseeing this team, we’re confident our acoustical services will see even more success for years to come”, said Bryan Hussey, EVP of Metro Walls. Welcome aboard, Jim! ...

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