Trenton mayor, council at odds over plan to hire union tradesmen

BY Raven Santana, Correspondent |

Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora was joined by union representatives and members of local unions as he promoted a resolution that would allow the city to temporarily hire qualified union tradesmen for public works projects like throwing out trash and flood cleanup.

Under the proposed resolution the city would establish an agreement with the Mercer County Buildings and Construction Trades Council. It would allow the city to tap into that workforce, if needed, in case of an emergency.

Gusciora says the city currently relies on private contractors, and that the proposal would make sure Trentonians are hired for temp jobs first.

But not everyone is on board with the plan. Councilwoman Robin Vaughn says Gusciora’s estimate that the city can save millions is incorrect and irresponsible. She says the resolution will hurt the city, not help it.

A city spokesperson says language was added to the resolution that gives preference to Trentonians, ensuring that local workers have their right to a paycheck. But Vaughn says that’s not enough and is confident the resolution will fail when it’s voted on in the coming weeks.