ALBANY, NY — Legislation designed to push up the pay of janitors, security guards and groundskeepers at utility companies created a holiday season lobbying spree, according to The Buffalo News.
The pay boost affecting service industry workers on contract at utility companies presents a slippery slope, opponents said, because it broadens the state''s prevailing wage payment requirements, the article noted.
Besides raising energy costs for gas and electric utilities by millions of dollars, which will get passed on to consumers, the bill will also end up impacting other employers, including those located in "business improvement districts," the article stated.
According to the article, supporters of the bill said that prior to deregulation of aspects of the state''s utility industry, companies typically employed unionized workers to do things like mowing lawns around a power plant or cleaning inside the facilities.
Over the years, though, many utilities have increasingly contracted out such work, and supporters of the bill said the result has been a hiring spree of cheaper labor, some at minimum wage levels of $7.25 per hour, the article added.
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