Foes Unite On Scaffold Law

As Crain’s New York recently reported, support for Scaffold Law reform has brought together groups which have been on opposing sides of many issues in the past.

The Rev. Jacques Andre DeGraff and Lou Coletti tangled over the hiring of minority, nonunion contractors and other matters for years—Rev. DeGraff as a social-justice advocate for several organizations, and Mr. Coletti as president and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, a group of union contractors. “We found ourselves on opposite sides of a number of issues,” Rev. DeGraff said.

But both of their constituencies are hurt by Labor Law 240, better known as the scaffold law, which holds contractors and property owners 100% liable for any gravity-related accident in which they are even minimally at fault. So they have joined forces to get state lawmakers to alter it.

“This issue is of such urgency and so pervasive, that it brings us together with a sense of survival,” Rev. DeGraff said.

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