Building Trades

Construction Contractors Must be Held Accountable

June 13, 2016

Gary LaBarbara

By Stephanie West

New York, NY –  Hundreds of advocates, union members, and community groups, Gathered on June 9th to  show support for Carlos Moncayo, a 23 year old worker who was killed in an excavation collapse.

The demonstrators called for a criminal conviction of Harco Construction LLC. The company was charged by New York County District Attorney Vance with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. Mr. Moncayo’s family, workers, and safety advocates continue to call for stronger regulations and enforcement to protect workers, while calling for criminal prosecution of contractors whose workplace conditions lead to preventable worker injuries and deaths.

Its essential that law enforcement agencies across the country hold criminal contractors accountable to make the construction industry safer for all workers. With the example of Manhattan D.A. Vance, and now D.A. Thompson in Brooklyn, contractors must be held accountable. Thompson has charged Salvatore Schirripa with manslaughter in the death of Vidal Sanchez-Ramon, a construction worker hurt on the job.

In 2015, 17 workers died on unsafe construction sites in New York City. This year so far, 5 workers have died in the New York City vicinity. If employers understand they can no longer get away with violating safety and health regulations, workers’ lives will be better protected.

Monica Velázquez, whose father died while working for a non-union construction company said “I miss my father every single day and I know Carlos is missed by his family too. My heart aches for our families because I know the deaths of our loved ones were entirely avoidable."

“The Building Trades stand united in our resolve to ensure that the family of Carlos Moncayo receives justice. For far too long criminally negligent and reckless contractors have been merely slapped on the wrist with no real consequences. The Harco Construction trial has the opportunity to change all of that. Irresponsible contractors should be put on notice that they can no longer put profits ahead of the safety of workers and that they will be held liable for their actions, ” said Gary LaBarbera, president, Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.

June 12, 2016

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