July 17, 2015
NEW YORK, NY — The Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition released the following statement on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s exploited worker task force, which will combat labor abuses in private sanitation and other industries with a history of worker exploitation. Transform Don’t Trash NYC includes the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance, Teamsters Joint Council 16, Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest.

“Governor Cuomo heard the call of private sanitation workers fighting for fair wages and safe conditions. Including these workers in the exploited worker task force is a signal to private sanitation companies that the State is watching and will hold them accountable.

“Conditions in this industry are unacceptable. Workers are too often put to work with little safety training or without the proper equipment. Many workers are paid far short of a living wage. In most companies, workers do not have a voice and their rights are not respected.

“When two private sanitation workers testified at a City Council hearing earlier this year, about the problems in their industry, they were fired in retaliation. The Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition, along with allies in the City Council and in the community, rallied to their side and won them their jobs back, but the industry had made its position on worker concerns clear. These are exactly the kind of workers that the exploited worker task force was created to help.

“For years, this industry operated in the shadows, but action in New York City and State have begun to bring its poor environmental and labor practices into the light. We look forward to working with partners in government to empower and protect New York’s private sanitation workers.”

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The Transform Don’t Trash NYC coalition is a growing coalition dedicated to transforming New York City’s commercial trash industry to reduce waste and pollution, foster clean and healthy communities for all New Yorkers, and create good jobs. For more information, please visit www.transformdonttrashnyc.org.

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