By Harry Keaney
With Mayor Giuliani hoping to licence all construction companies in New York City, the Irish American Building Society says it believes the best solution lies in self-regulation.
At a recent IABS meeting, guest speakers included Professor Edward D. Re, Jr., of the construction management department of the Pratt Institute, and Louis J. Colletti, chairman and CEO of the Building Trades Employers’ Association. Both provided information on the status of the mayor’s plan to licence construction companies in the city.
Following recent bad press associated with major accidents and criminal behavior within a small sector of the construction industry, Giuliani has put forward a plan to licence all construction companies as well as all those associated with the companies, such as vendors, suppliers and subcontractors, according to IABS President James Alger.
"This current plan, which seems to be dead on the floor of the city council, is a cumbersome and onerous approach to providing a solution for the industry’s problems," he said.
Alger added that, in its current format, the construction licensing bill is so broad and totally subjective in its approach to defining who and how a construction firm and principals may be licensed that it is doomed to failure in its desired effect, and may even be discriminating and subject to very strong industry opposition.
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"Construction industry professionals should regulate themselves in the same measure as any other professional group does, such as doctors and lawyers," Alger said.
The February meeting of the Irish Business Organization of New York will take place Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Shelburne Hotel, on Lexington Avenue, between 37th and 38th Streets. The IBO will hold a networking breakfast on Feb. 24 at 8 a.m. in the Mezze Restaurant, on 44th Street, between Madison and Fifth.
A new business networking group, led by Bernadette McManus, has been formed in downtown Manhattan. Members of the group will meet on Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. in Moran’s Town House, 103 Washington St. The new networking group is an offshoot of the Irish Business Organization. For information, call McManus at (212) 571-1150.
Recognition for nurses
With hospital spending being cut and staffs being slashed, as well as mergers and acquisitions taking place, nurses often suffer the brunt of cutbacks. Five hundred nurses at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in the northeast Bronx are now seeking union recognition. The hospital serves the communities of the Bronx, Yonkers and lower Westchester.
Country Bank has announced annual net income for 1998 of $1,404,311 or $4.68 a share. This compares to 1997 earnings of $1,200,754 or $4 per share, a 17 percent increase for the year. Total assets at the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, increased to $124 million from 1997’s $102 million, an increase of 22 percent. The board of directors has also declared an annual dividend at the rate of $2 per share payable Feb. 8, 1999 to shareholders of record on Feb. 2. Most of Country Bank’s shares are privately held. Next month, Country Bank is scheduled to open its first Manhattan branch at 48th Street and Second Avenue.
Guinness Ireland has sold its cruiser company Emerald Star Line, which many visitors to Ireland’s River Shannon may be familiar with. An English company, Porter Haylett, was the purchaser. The price was not disclosed. The Emerald Star Line fleet consists of 200 boats with bases in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim; Portumna, Co. Galway; and Belturbet, Co. Cavan.
A German clothing company, Schiesser, is to close its plant in Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, with the loss of 135 jobs. Meanwhile, unemployment in Ireland is at its lowest in 15 years. The number of people now out of work stands at 209,500.
In Northern Ireland, a $33.5 million expansion by Galen, one of the U.K.’s fastest growing pharmaceuticals companies, is expected to create 125 new high technology jobs during the next three years. Most of the new employment will be created at the group’s Craigavon headquarters where 63 additional staff will be recruited as part of an $13.25 million expansion of antibiotic drug production facilities. Forty new jobs are to be created n the same site at the company’s SynGal division in a £12 million specialist chemical synthesis service project. Another 22 jobs, most of them for doctoral level research staff in a new venture called QuChem Ltd, a joint venture involving Queens University’s holding company QUBIS. Galen Holdings, the majority shareholder, is investing $2.4 million in a new research and development chemical synthesis operation at Queens University School of Chemistry.