NEW YORK, NY – On Wednesday, February 5, 2020, Jumaane Williams (New York City Public Advocate), Ben Kallos (Council Member), Diana Moreno (New Immigrant Community Empowerment), Charlie Uruchima (NY Committee for Occupational Safety & Health), and representatives from the New York State Laborers’ Union today called on the New York Construction Alliance (NYCA) to hold their board member, New Line Structures, accountable for their history of egregious and prolonged worker exploitation.
For more than a year, a group of immigrant workers and members of the New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), have said they are owed wages from work completed in Hallets Point, Queens by sub-contractors hired by New Line Structures - a sitting board member of the New York Construction Alliance (NYCA). By not ensuring their sub-contractors follow labor law and compensate workers accurately, NYCA and New Line have established themselves as complicit in this exploitation. To date, more than a dozen workers are still owed wages for work they completed in the fall of 2018. Executives of New Line and its sub-contractors have lined their pockets on the backs of construction workers; construction workers who have worked hard, and have been denied compensation they need and deserve.
“NYCA claims to promote ‘strict standards’ in safety, professionalism and fair compensation,” said John Hutchings, Executive Director, New York State Laborers’ Organizing Fund. “It is implied that by offering a board seat to New Line Structures, NYCA believes them to be a pillar of these ideologies. NYCA, we implore you: does New Line’s failure to compel its sub-contractors to pay workers align with those tenets? The answer should be a resounding ‘no.’ We are asking NYCA to do the right thing and pressure New Line to rectify this serious problem immediately.”
To date, the New York State Laborers’ Union has joined forces with NICE monthly since November to call on New Line to get these workers paid. So far, six workers have been paid; but not all.
"Queremos pedir a la Alianza de Construcción de Nueva York que presione a la compañía New Line que se haga responsable por estos robo de salarios- que deje de contratar a estos subcontratistas que no pagan y que roban el labor, el sudor, y el tiempo de la gente,” said a NICE member. “Siempre explotan al trabajador inmigrante porque creen que nosotros tenemos miedo a exigir nuestros derechos. Pero vamos a seguir luchando hasta que cada uno reciba su salario completo!"
“We ask the New York Construction Alliance to pressure New Line to take responsibility for this wage theft- that they stop hiring these subcontractors that don’t pay and that steal our labor, our sweat, and our time. They always exploit immigrant workers because they think we are afraid to demand that our rights are upheld. But we will continue fighting until each and every worker receives their full payment!