Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Labor leader Ed Malloy dies at 77


A former steamfitter, Mr. Malloy steered the city and state construction trades council for nearly two decades until his retirement earlier this year.

By Daniel Massey

Edward Malloy, a dapper, tireless labor leader who steered the city and state construction trades council for nearly two decades, died Tuesday after a bout with cancer. He was 77.

A veteran of the U.S. Army and a former steamfitter, Mr. Malloy served as president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York from 1992 to 2008 and as president of the New York State Building and Construction Trades Council from 1992 until his retirement earlier this year. “His hard work and wit allowed him to pass easily from union halls to business board rooms and the chambers of government,” said Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

Perhaps Mr. Malloy's proudest moment was serving as grand marshal of the St. Patrick's' Day Parade in 2001. But he was a driving force for private economic development and public infrastructure improvements throughout the city and state, promoting measures to contain construction costs and maximize employment opportunities for his members.

“He worked tirelessly with public officials, investors and labor leaders to get major infrastructure projects off the ground and create jobs in every corner of the state,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“What was unique about Eddie was he was not only a labor leader, but an industry and civic leader,” said Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association. “He cared deeply about the future direction of the city.”

Mr. Coletti said he'd always know if Mr. Malloy was going to reject one of his ideas because he “would have that Irish twinkle in his eyes and say, ‘Let me give that more thought.' ”

Mr. Malloy pioneered the use of project labor agreements to cut costs on major public projects, deals that are now widely used throughout the industry. A PLA in 1994 for $130 million in repairs on the Tappan Zee Bridge was the first of its kind on a major public works project in the state.

“In one blunt sentence he'd say, ‘Look, my job is to find 130,000 jobs a year. That's the job,' ” said Ed Ott, a lecturer in labor studies at the CUNY Murphy Institute. “Everything he did, that was his yardstick.”

He also worked to diversify the construction industry, launching programs to provide access to careers in the building trades for young people, veterans, minorities and women. Project Pathways, which he helped start, expanded access to unionized apprenticeships for graduates of public high schools. The program was later transferred to a nonprofit that bears his name.

More than just construction workers benefited from Mr. Malloy's efforts. Denis Hughes, former president of the state AFL-CIO, recalled him going to bat for legislation his group was pushing to help farm workers.

“Eddie Malloy was the first guy to call me from my executive board to say he wanted to help get this done,” Mr. Hughes said.

Many recalled his actions in the days and weeks following the terrorist attacks of 2001.

“After 9/11 there were a lot of folks who were trying to figure out how they could help,” said Vincent Alvarez, president of the Central Labor Council. “Eddie told the members, ‘Let's get down there, let's help out.' Everyone remembers the workers lined up on West Street, ready to do what they could.”

Mr. Ott called the role played by Mr. Malloy after the attacks “absolutely heroic” and said, “He fought like hell to make sure these guys had the proper stuff they needed to protect themselves. He knew it was a dangerous situation.”

Mr. Malloy was known for talking with friends and foes alike. “He realized he had to work with everyone to get the job done, long before that was en vogue,” said Mario Cilento, president of the state AFL-CIO.

A wake will be held on Thursday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Chapel on Madison Avenue. A funeral mass will be said on Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Patrick's Cathedral.


New York’s elected officials and labor community are mourning the death of Edward J. Malloy, a longtime veteran NYC labor leader who passed away at the age of 77.
 Mayor Michael Bloomberg: ..."As some of you may or may not have heard, Ed Malloy, the former President of the New York City and New York State Building and Construction Trades Council, has passed away. I think his passing will be mourned by all who had the privilege to know Ed. He was a friend to the city. He was a friend to me. And he is someone for whom I have always had an enormous amount of respect,” Mayor Bloomberg said during his Q-and-A with reporters. (Actually, this is how a number of us found out that Malloy had passed, although several labor sources told me he has been sick for about a year now).
“Ed for years helped build New York and I think his legacy can be seen all across our city in projects big and small,” the mayor continued. “And it is no exaggeration to say that without his leadership we wouldn’t have hundreds of schools, office buildings and parks in our city. And we might not have the stadium that brings us here today, the new home of the New York Mets, Citifield.”
Malloy, a member of the steamfitters union, served as president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York from 1992 to late 2008 when he was replaced by Gary La Barbera.
AFL-CIO President Mario Cilento issued the following statement:
“Ed Malloy dedicated his life to improving the lives of working men and women throughout the State of New York. Ed was an innovator who thought outside the box and had the rare ability to bring people together from different points of view to create jobs, improve working conditions, and foster positive change.”
“No fight was too big, no issue was too small to get Ed’s personal attention when it came to protecting workers. The thoughts and prayers of our affiliates and members are with Ed’s loved ones on this sad day.”
UPDATE: And now we have the following statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo:
“Today we mourn the passing of Ed Malloy, who for decades stood up for the working men and women of New York and helped build the state into the great place it is today.”
“For the years that Ed served as president of the New York City and New York State Building and Construction Trades councils representing over 200,000 union members, he worked tirelessly with public officials, investors, and labor leaders to get major infrastructure projects off the ground and create jobs in every corner of the state.”
“Ed pioneered the Project Pathways agreement and Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills that changed the face of the construction industry and opened the door for more than a thousand young, diverse New Yorkers to launch successful careers in the building trades. He was an early partner in forging the public-private partnerships that have helped pave the way toward building a new Tappan Zee Bridge.
“Above all else, Ed was a gentleman and a true New Yorker: putting the interests of others and service to his country and community above all else, including serving in armed forces and in numerous roles in public life. I send my condolences to his friends and family.”

3 comments:

I would ask that if you would like to leave a comment that you think of Local 157 Blogspot as your online meeting hall and that you wouldn’t say anything on this site that you wouldn’t, say at a union meeting. Constructive criticism is welcome, as we all benefit from such advice. Obnoxious comments are not welcome.