Connect with us

New York City News

Shady Private Garbage Collection Unions Under NYC Council Scrutiny

Published

on

Private garbage collection has been a thorn in the side of a number of New York neighborhoods tired with the dangerously aggressive driving by some of the vehicle operators and noxious fumes from some of their facilities. Photo Credit: Green Air Cleaning Systems

Private garbage collection has been a thorn in the side of a number of New York neighborhoods tired with the dangerously aggressive driving by some of the vehicle operators and noxious fumes from some of their facilities. These private companies also apparently have unions representing them that aren’t exactly on the up-and-up, and that’s where the City Council is coming into play.

Crain’s reports that the Council passed three bills that are supposed to get rid of “sham unions,” as Councilman Antonio Reynoso of Brooklyn calls it. Some of these unions have apparent links to organized crime, and the Council wants to help the legitimate unions while focusing on some reporting recently done by ProPublica, which found that some members of Local 124 had relations to organized crime. This small so-called union was meant to represent people working for Sanitation Salvage, which doesn’t exist anymore.

In the city, trash collection for residents and other public uses are done by the city’s own sanitation department. Commercial waste is handled by private trash-hauling companies, and the sector has become a little bit of a Wild West scenario. Part of this problem is that the employees themselves are at risk, seeing more injuries and deaths than their sanitation department counterparts, and there’s no guarantee the fumes they’re inhaling won’t cause health problems down the line.

“The private sanitation industry operates without regard for the health and safety of its workers or the city at large,” Reynoso, chair of the Committee on Sanitation, said during his press conference. “It is not only the companies themselves that are complicit in this disgraceful behavior. In many of these shops, it is the very unions who are supposed to protect these workers who are aiding and abetting their mistreatment,” he added as he prepared for the vote on the bills.

He said these “sham” unions “are colluding with company owners to prevent legitimate unions from organizing workers.” He added that “sham unions have also been used a vehicle for organized crime to retain a foothold in the carting industry.”

Crain’s reports that one bill would make private garbage unions register with the Business Integrity Commission in order to try cracking down on organized crime activity. There would even be finger printing and background checks conducted in order to comply with the integrity process. The two other bills would make it so these entities have to report all wage and labor violations right to the proper authorities, like the state attorney general, and make sure employees are informed of regulations related to their safety and paychecks.

The Jewish Voice reported about how last year, city Comptroller Scott Stringer released a new report, entitled Unsafe Sanitation: An Analysis of the Commercial Waste Industry’s Safety Record.

The results showcase a number of dangerous conditions including trucks that should be replaced, failed vehicle inspections, have red light and traffic violations, and this is spread out across about 273 commercial waste haulers.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement --

Trending

Daily Newsletter

Get all the breaking news delivered right to your inbox as it happens

Sign Up Now!