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Pension Funds

Union leaders praise JFK Airport update

A JetBlue Airways on the tarmac outside Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Union leaders said a plan to overhaul JFK airport is a win for both union jobs and pension fund investments.

A $13 billion plan to update New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport announced Thursday by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was welcomed by building trades officials as a double win for their pension funds' infrastructure investment and union jobs.

Of the $13 billion, $12 billion will come from private funding, including Ullico Inc., the Carlyle Group and JLC Infrastructure.

Sean McGarvey, president of North America's Building Trades Unions, said in a statement the project "will allow the pension funds of our hardworking members to invest in critical infrastructure and put over 4,000 union members to work, while also supporting 8,000 permanent jobs upon completion."

The Ullico Infrastructure Fund includes a responsible contractor policy that promote fair benefits and wages, working conditions and training opportunities in projects.

By investing in the project through the Ullico Infrastructure Fund and the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund, "we are going get steady returns and job creation which will increase contributions," said Dan Pedrotty, director of capital strategies for the building trades.

Gary Labarbera, president of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, said in a statement that the JFK project will provide a world-class customer experience, "while creating good union construction jobs for hard-working New Yorkers and building a strong middle class."

The Terminal One Team, which described itself as one of the largest U.S. public-private partnership projects, is a coalition of airlines, labor, minority- and women-owned businesses and financial partners, including the Carlyle Group and its dedicated airport platform, CAG Holdings, JLC Infrastructure, Ullico and Munich Airport International.

In a group statement, JLC Infrastructure co-founder Earvin "Magic" Johnson praised Mr. Cuomo, who “has thrashed all the myths about minority participation in major infrastructure projects by insisting on a 30% standard throughout the project.”