With an educational background in mechanical engineering, Avi Polischuk serves as the president and owner of R&S United Services, an Amityville, New York-based construction company that designs and installs HVAC systems in high-rise buildings throughout New York City. Recently, Avi Polischuk has helped his company become one of the only union firms that has found success in New York’s non-union market, which has been growing rapidly over the past several years.
A major presence in New York City’s construction industry for decades, unions have been losing market share recently as more developers in the city turn to non-unionized contractors in an effort to save money on labor costs. This trend grew out of the Great Recession, which hit the construction sector very hard and led to a drastic decline in construction activity throughout New York.
Although official statistics have not been released, unionized companies claim that non-union contractors are overseeing close to 85 percent of the construction projects in New York City. Though the city’s construction industry is now making a comeback, non-union contractors may hold on to their share of the market because they offer labor that is 40 to 50 percent cheaper than that of today’s unionized companies.