Union & Nonunion Construction Workers Deliver Demand Letter and Over $70,000-Invoice for Owed Wages at New Line Structures
New York, NY -- Union and nonunion immigrant construction workers, along with their supporters, gather today to demand payment of more than $70,000 in owed wages. New Line Structures, one of the largest construction management companies in New York City, has failed to ensure their hired subcontractors are paying workers the wages they are owed and deserve for work they have completed.
Denying workers this $70,000 in wages is denying them a fundamental right: payment for services rendered. These workers refused to be taken advantage of, or silenced.
More than 20 individuals who performed work at New Line's Hallets Point job site in Astoria came forward to report the unpaid wages.
“New Line Structures has a disturbing history of hiring subcontractors with documented records of wage theft, safety violations and even worker deaths,” said John Hutchings, Executive Director, New York State Laborers’ Organizing Fund (NYSLOF). “As a prominent company, New Line should set a positive example of how to treat workers. Unfortunately, they continuously do the opposite. The Laborers stand with these workers, and demand that New Line and the contractors they hired are held accountable.”
“As we start the holiday season, we want to remind everyone that some workers and their families will go without their hard earned pay, because of unscrupulous and predatory employers. Today we come together, day laborers, immigrant construction workers, labor unions, elected officials, and supporters to ensure workers are heard and justice is accessible to all" said Manuel Castro, executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). "Too often, in New York, immigrant workers fall prey to unscrupulous and exploitative employers looking to take advantage of them, and so we must do everything in our power to ensure our communities are protected and public policy reflects our values as a city of immigrants.”
"This situation affects us in psychological and economic ways... It feels like the government protects the contractors more than the workers, especially Latinos... the company New Line helps these businesses (the subcontractors) continue doing this (stealing our wages)...They are also responsible," says an impacted worker and member of New immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) who wishes to remain anonymous.
Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams said, "the people who build our city on construction sites are not only threatened in their physical safety and security, but their financial security. Wage theft is a scourge in workplaces across the city, and bad actors like New Line are enabling and encouraging this practice at the expense of their workers. Everyone deserves to get paid for an honest day’s work, and to come home safe at the end of the day."
“The wanton negligence we routinely witness from New Line Structures amounts to more than hiring irresponsible contractors who deny construction workers fair wages or basic safety standards,” said Council Member Francisco Moya. “It’s a pattern of New Line choosing to engage with contractors that disregard workers’ rights and rob these working-class men and women of their dignity. They have a right to fair pay for services rendered, a right to work in safe conditions and a right to know that when they show up to a job site, they’re employer is doing everything possible to ensure they can walk off of it at the end of the day. These hard hat workers are owed more than just their stolen wages, but I stand in solidarity with them demanding they receive at least that much.”
"Wage theft and serious safety violations cannot be tolerated on New York City construction sites," said Council Member Ben Kallos. "New Line Structures hired the contractors who owe workers over $70,000 in back wages. New Line should stop doing business with low-road contractors with worker deaths, wage theft, and safety violations on their hands. This is not fair; this is not acceptable and has to be corrected immediately. I stand with the workers demanding these back wages be paid."
“Construction is one of the most dangerous professions in New York City. Every day, thousands of workers, many of them our immigrant neighbors, put their lives at risk to build our homes and office buildings. For New Line to allow their subcontractors to deny these workers the pay they are owed is more than an injustice. It’s cruel and inhumane. I stand in solidarity with the workers demanding their pay. We won’t stop until their wages are paid in full,” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
Information about NYSLOF:
The New York State Laborers’ represents over 40,000 members employed in the construction industry and other fields throughout the state organized into more than 24 local unions and 5 district councils. We are a proud affiliate of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), which represents more than 500,000 workers in the construction trades, factories, hospitals and other workplaces. New York State Laborers’ affiliates include, concrete workers, paving and heavy highway locals, tunnel workers, excavators, and general construction laborers.
Information about NICE:
New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE) builds the individual and collective power of immigrant workers. We envision a society where all people, regardless of immigration status, live and work with dignity and justice. We focus on organizing and supporting newly arrived immigrants who face significant challenges in finding safe, dignified, and well-paying jobs and are at high risk of workplace abuse and exploitation.
For Immediate Release
November 19, 2019
Contact: Jennie Encalada-Malinowski (NYSLOF)
Phone: 347- 906-4160
Contact: Sara Feldman (NICE)