A conversation with Chaz Rynkiewicz, vice president of Laborers Local 79.
With Laborers Local 79 leading the charge, union demolition workers, construction workers, carpenters, bricklayers, and more have rallied multiple times in the past month outside the Chelsea Terminal Warehouse in New York City to protest the mishandling of workers’ pensions and the exploitation, union busting, wage theft, and hazardous conditions workers have experienced at the job site. As Dean Moses writes in The Villager, ?“Many of the Laborers are immigrant demolition workers, also called los demolicionsitas, and construction workers who say that they have been deprived of healthcare throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to face intimidation and threats for trying to unionize Terminal Warehouse. Protesters named several culprits?—?three being New Line Structures, ECD NY and Alba Services?—?which, they alleged, have a history of wage theft and permitting hazardous working conditions. There were also allegations of gender discrimination.” We talk to Chaz Rynkiewicz, Vice President and Director of Organizing for Laborers Local 79.
This blog was originally published at In These Times on 03/03/2022.
About the Author: Maximillian Alvarez is a writer and editor based in Baltimore and the host of Working People, ?“a podcast by, for, and about the working class today.” His work has been featured in venues like In These Times, The Nation, The Baffler, Current Affairs, and The New Republic.