JULY 16 -- TWU was on hand for today's historic announcement by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo that he is initiating a statewide Task Force to root out worker exploitation in many industries throughout the state. TWU Local 100 Secretary-Treasurer Earl Phillips represented the 39,000 members of the Union, along with other officers and rank and file members at the Bronx announcement of the initiative.
The Governor spoke from the heart when he recounted the experience of his grandfather, who worked as a laborer from the age of 15 in the bitter cold without being able to afford a coat, for an owner who would not let him sit in the cab of the truck to get warm. He said that the contemporary experience of state investigators, sent to take low-wage jobs, was similar: they found themselves working seven days a week, without vacations, for less than minimum wage. But "even if you are an undocumented worker, you are still entitled to the protections of laws of the State of New York," the Governor said.
He added that the recently-exposed plight of nail salon workers, who must work for starvation wages in an atmosphere of toxic chemicals, was only one example of exploitation. "If you want to open your eyes and be honest," he said, "it's everywhere in this economy." He mentioned landscaping, car wash work, laundry and cleaning services, and construction. The Task Force, he said, will employ 700 investigators who will be charged with investigations violations of labor law throughout the state in a variety of industries.
TWU Local 100 is proud to go on the record in full support of this Task Force.