Essential Construction Workers: Organizing for Safety Protections
There is a growing NYC movement and across the nation to support the liberation of construction and low-wage immigrant workers. In early 2021, immigrant demolition construction workers from Cabrican, Guatemala, approached LWC because they were victims of abusive bosses. The workers decided to organize because they had to endure abuses in the workplace such as wage theft, lack of adequate PPE at work, especially important when working in old-building demolitions, no access to paid sick leave or health assistance and an irregular schedule. The workers, many who are indigenous people from Guatemala, started to come to meetings with LWC and eventually started their leadership training at the Leadership Institute. Although the workers have approached their managers and bosses, their workplace conditions have not improved. On May 2, 2022, we are launching our 2022 Liberation Campaign!
The workers demand the following:
- An end to unsafe working conditions in the workplace.
- That the employer must provide adequate protective equipment, which must be free of charge. This is important because the work involves the demolition of old buildings which contains asbestos, lead and other harmful chemicals.
- That the employer must provide adequate work tools in good condition in compliance with OSHA regulations.
- We demand respect to take a break or lunchtime and for this to be observed by the company.
- Salary increases for all workers.
- Respect for all workers by the management.
- We the workers demand that the employer Rehire the worker leaders fired as retaliation because they were organizing.
- That the employer must provide paid sick days as required by NYS law.