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Workplace Safety Protests by NYC Construction Workers

Construction workers rallied a week ago to draw attention to the working conditions at the JDS Development Group's building site at 111 W. 57th Street. There were around 1,000 workers at this event; a similar event in October drew nearly 8,000 workers. The protest was organized by the Buildings and Construction Trades Council (BCTC) of Greater New York.

Some of the violations JDS that prompted the protest included:

  • A scaffold at 425-435 W. 50th St. that allegedly had no railings.  A worker fell from the scaffold on February 21.
  • A floor collapse at 210 W. 18th St.  A worker fell from the 20th floor to the 18th.  He had no safe anchor point for the safety harness. There have been at least 14 Department of Buildings (DOB) citations at this site.
  • Injuries, DOB fines and accidents at other building sites in New York operated by this development group and its contractor, Park Side Construction. Sites include 626 First Ave. in Manhattan, 202 Eighth St. in Brooklyn, 81 Fleet Place in Brooklyn and 236 W. 37th Street. Park Side Construction is being investigated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) because of the death of a worker at the 236 W. 37th St. worksite.

The project on W. 57th St. is a 1,400 foot tall, 45-unit condominium, as is the project on First Ave.  That project however, does have an affordable housing component, giving the developer a tax break. 

The president of the BCTC, Gary LaBarbera, said, "We are back out in front of JDS' 57th Street project because this developer and its contractors have a history of recklessly ignoring the safety and well-being of their workers across New York City and they must be held accountable. We will continue to protest JDS on this street and across this city until they put worker  above their bottom line."

Even though the First Ave. project has benefitted from city money in the form of tax breaks, many of the contractors involved in the project have histories of tax fraud, wage theft, racism and sexual harassment, on top of their safety violations. One of the contractors associated with JDS was once barred from receiving public works contracts.

Sources:

Amsterdam News

Labor Press

Call Block O'Toole & Murphy to discuss your options if you were injured as a result of poor safety conditions at your workplace. 212-736-5300.