ICS Magazine

NYC newspaper reports State Attorney General action

January 15, 2002
The New York Daily News is reporting that New York State Attorney General is investigating labor law violations allegedly committed by several cleaning companies near the World Trade Center disaster site. The jobs ranged from a quick mopping of a deli floor to weeks of cleaning apartment carpets.

NEW YORK -- The New York Daily News is reporting that New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's office is investigating labor law violations allegedly committed by several cleaning companies near the World Trade Center disaster site. The jobs ranged from a quick mopping of a deli floor to weeks of cleaning apartment carpets.

According to the paper, contractors took 600 illegal immigrants off street corners to scrub potentially toxic dust from buildings near the disaster site without providing them with appropriate safety training or protecting equipment.

Among their charges: Virtually none of the workers was warned about potential health risks; most were not given respirators or other safety equipment, and some who brought their own said bosses would snatch them away for themselves.

As demand for cleanup workers near Ground Zero has decreased, trained asbestos workers have replaced day laborers. While the day laborers' presence has faded, many said their respiratory ailments have not, including coughing and nosebleeds, according to the Daily News.