Monthly Archives: May 2015

Nail Salon, Restaurant, Day Laborer Workers and Advocates Applaud Attention to Wage Theft and Enforcement Call on Gov. Cuomo to Support SWEAT Bill to Make Labor Law Enforceable

Stop Wage Theft

Nail salon, restaurant, day laborer, home attendant, office, and other workers have been standing up against wage theft and even winning decisions. But despite these judgments, workers have not been able to collect the wages owed to them because legal loopholes allow employers to completely escape responsibility. By fraudulently transferring assets, declaring bankruptcy, or shutting down their business and changing names, unscrupulous employers can avoid ever paying the stolen wages of even those workers who win decisions at the DOL or judgments in court, such as the nail salon workers at Babi Nails.

This not only causes many workers to suffer, it also undermines those employers who comply with the labor law. Even the Labor Department says it is frustrated because it cannot collect stolen wages.

As long as bosses can run away from the law, there will be no end to wage theft. The Coalition calls on the Governor to support the SWEAT bill (Securing Wages Earned Against Theft) to make the labor law enforceable and to put a stop to sweatshop conditions.

Monday 5/18 at 10AM: Tenants Speak Out Against Eviction by Slumlord, and Demand Repairs

*Press Advisory*

Tenants Speak Out Against Eviction by Slumlord, and Demand Repairs

Urge Mayor to Take Steps to Prevent Further Displacement in Chinatown/Lower East Side

What: Press Conference

When: Monday, May 18, 2015,10am

Where: In front of 83-85 Bowery St. New York, NY, 10002

For years, residents of 83-85 Bowery Street have been experiencing constant water leakage from ceilings, and recently, a bathroom floor on the verge of collapse. For example, when one floor takes a shower, water leaks through the floor below. In one apartment, they have to keep an umbrella up in their bathroom to prevent water from the above apartment from coming down on them. In addition, the uneven and sloping stairs have been a hazardous problem for one of the buildings, where many families, seniors, and children live.  Most recently, after the tenants organized a tenant association, the tenants of 85 Bowery had their gas cut off since April 1st, 2015, and despite calls to 311 and asking the landlord to resolve, gas was only reinstated last week, after over 40 days.

The landlord, Joseph Betesh, has left the building to be rundown since he acquired it in 2013, along with 9 other buildings on Bowery Street.  Since then, no repairs or upkeep have been done by the landlord. The landlord is deliberately keeping the building in disrepair as a way to force tenants out because he cannot do so legally.

Since the passage of the 2008 rezoning, many luxury developments have been pushed into our neighborhood, and landlords in Chinatown and the Lower East Side have been evicting low income people from rent stabilized buildings left and right. The tenants are demanding the landlord to fix immediate dangers in all apartments and that the City should hold the landlord accountable.  The tenants, along with the Public Advocate’s Office, call for public attention to this concern and urge other tenants to speak out against poor living conditions.