After Construction Worker Falls to His Death, Advocates Pressure Hochul

On Monday, November 28, an unidentified construction worker fell 162 feet to his death while working at a non-union construction site in the Upper West Side. Fellow construction workers huddled below the scaffolding the following night to mourn his death. A makeshift vigil was left at the site consisting of flowers and candles to honor his memory. Across the city, construction worker vigils are common. His death was the third in November. On November 1, 27-year-old immigrant worker Raúl Tenele

Spectrum Workers Sue Their Former Union

Spectrum Workers are suing their union, The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 3, for failing to fairly represent them. The lawsuit alleges that Local 3 failed to notify workers that it had reached a settlement with Charter Communications, Spectrum’s parent company, nor did it inform workers of the nature of the settlement with Charter as well as failed to seek consent from the workers. Nearly 1,800 workers, many of whom are Black and Latino immigrants, went on strike,

New York Delivery Workers Call for Higher Minimum Wage

On Monday morning, delivery workers and their supporters gathered outside the gates of New York City Hall, demanding that the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) modify its recent proposal to increase the minimum wage for app-based delivery workers. Although the workers present applauded the proposal, they say it doesn’t go far enough. Last week, after years of organizing by immigrant delivery workers, DCWP announced its proposal for a minimum wage for New York City’s 65,000

Home Health Care Workers Can Sue Their Bosses, Court Says

On November 10, the New York State Supreme Court ruled in favor of home healthcare workers who were seeking to recover stolen wages from their employer, Premier Home Health Care Services. The court’s ruling will only apply to workers who retired or left Premier before 2016, when 1199SEIU, the union that represents the workers, entered into an agreement with Premier, forcing them into arbitration. The decision comes several months after 1199SEIU announced an industry-wide $30 million arbitration

TLC Fines Rise 446 Percent as Cab Drivers Struggle to Pay Medallion Debts

As a ride-share app driver, Basel M. has to navigate traffic jams, angry drivers, and the ever-tightening and hypercompetitive market for rideshare and taxi drivers in New York City. He’s been a cab driver since 2018 and has weathered the pandemic downturn, watched his coworkers fall into financial ruin during the medallion crash, and fought for meager protections from the City government. Despite the daily hardship of being a rideshare driver, there is one little-known agency that causes him th

The Long Troubled ASA College Loses its Accreditation

ASA College, a for-profit school based in NYC that targets immigrant students, has lost its accreditation. Plagued by years of legal troubles which include consumer fraud, sexual assault allegations and rogue leadership, the college has reached the end of the line with Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the nation’s leading college accreditation bureau. In its decision released on November 11, Middle States said that ASA College failed to provide quality education, failed to pay empl

Immigrant Workers Say Chipotle is Firing Them for Organizing

It was December of 2021 and the pandemic still appeared to have no end in sight. Like many other Chipotle immigrant workers, Winifer Pena Ruiz made the decision to quit her past job at McDonald’s to go to her new company’s White Plains Road location in the Bronx. “The pay was better and I thought the hours were going to be better and more flexible,” she said. Since coming to the U.S from the Dominican Republic in 2018, she has been sending almost every penny she earns back home to support her

Immigrant Subway Cleaners are Illegally Underpaid With MTA's Permission

When Jose Luis Dominguez describes his time working as a subway cleaner for NV Maintenance Services, it’s difficult for him not to get angry. One incident sticks out in his mind in particular; his supervisors found out he was driving his co-workers to work every morning. After warning him not to do that, the company arbitrarily ruled that co-workers were not allowed to arrive to work together. “We weren’t allowed to talk to each other. We weren’t allowed to be friends. We weren’t allowed to use

Nail Salon Workers Say Proper Ventilation Can Protect Their Reproductive Health

When 38-year-old nail salon worker Pabitra Dash recalls the physical pain she felt the first time she miscarried, she says that the emotional and mental anguish she felt hurt much more. “After the miscarriage, no one comes back to support and give a good aura,” she said. The joy she felt the second time she got pregnant was quickly squashed when she began to feel familiar abdominal pain. “I knew it was going to be a miscarriage again,” Dash said. Throughout her brief third pregnancy, Dash wa

For-Profit ASA College Deceived Immigrant Students, NYC Says

When Farouk Armand first arrived in New York from Burkina Faso in 2016, he was eager to experience the City’s world-renowned education system. Armed with a coveted F-1 Visa, Armand was in search of the best school to study business administration. A friend suggested he apply to the Downtown Brooklyn campus of ASA College because they easily accepted F-1 Visa holders. Not knowing anything about the school, Armand, who was 18-years-old at the time, applied and was accepted. What Armand didn’t kno

Immigrant Construction Workers Fight for Basic Workplace Safety

Porfirio Lopez began working at Best Super Cleaning as a demolition and construction cleaning worker in 2018. He had high hopes that the job would provide him with a decent living so he could support his family back home in Mexico. Almost immediately after he began working for the company, Lopez’s hopes began to diminish. Workers were forced to do demolition work with their bare hands because the company refused to provide tools or even gloves, he said. When working sometimes 10 stories high, w

De Blasio Promised that the NYPD Would Stop Policing Street Vendors. Mayor Adams Has Reversed Course

During the peak summer months, business is booming for Mohamed Awad, an Egyptian street vendor who operates a halal food stand at Hudson Yards. With so many tourists flooding the area, there is plenty of business for everyone. Instead of competing with one another, the food vendors cooperate with each other and Awad is their unofficial mayor. Although business is good, the vendors have found that the NYPD has become a major thorn in their side. Awad says he has received 75 tickets in the last si

U.S Open Workers Win Back Pay for Stolen Wages

A week after Documented first reported allegations made by three immigrant women who said they were not paid for work they did at the U.S. Open, the workers announced that they were finally being paid back wages, which they were owed for a year. Cecilia Valdés, who worked at the U.S Open in 2021, was in awe of how quickly she was able to be paid with the help of NICE, after a year of trying on her own. It was the first time she has ever engaged in political action in her life. “I feel so good

Healthcare Worker Union is Fighting a Bill that Would End 24 Hour Shifts for Home Health Aides

On a rainy Tuesday morning, nearly a hundred home care workers and their supporters gathered outside the gates of City Hall demanding an end to 24-hour work shifts. The group chanted “no more 24!” in anticipation of the hearing being held that day to discuss freshmen City Councilmember Christopher Marte’s bill to ban 24-hour shifts. Across the street, a smaller but equally as voracious crowd of demonstrators enthusiastically chanted “kill the bill.” The people demonstrating against the bill wer

U.S. Open Immigrant Workers Say Wages Were Stolen

Every year for two weeks between late August and early September, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, home to the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, is transformed into a glitzy playground for the U.S. Open. Tickets to tennis matches range between $93 to $8,807, and fans sip cold $22 Honey Deuce cocktails. The median income of U.S. Open attendees is about $182,000. But that glamor does not extend to the workers who keep the U.S. Open running. On Tuesday, 71-year-old Maria, her sister Luz, and

Migrants are Wrestling With the Complex Shelter System in NYC

It was almost midnight on Thursday, and Alexandra and Jorge were still not sure if they would be able to find a bed to sleep in that night. The migrants stood alone outside a shelter in Brooklyn, each clenching a blanket and carrying small backpacks with just a few belongings that remained from their nearly two-month-long journey from Venezuela and through the United States to NYC. It was the second shelter they had tried that day, after spending about five exhaustive hours enduring intake at t

As Asylum Seekers Arrive in NYC, Many Struggle to Get on Their Feet

On Wednesday morning, three busloads of immigrants pulled into one of the dingy corners of the NYC Port Authority bus terminal. The migrants waved from inside of the dark tinted bus windows while a crowd of reporters, volunteers, and city staff waited to greet them. Many of the migrants were primarily single Venezuelan men, but among them were also some families. They held only one or two grocery bags of belongings as they disembarked and entered the makeshift intake area inside the terminal wh

Newsrooms need to hire more working-class journalists —

“If you only have upper-class voices speaking for and to the country — in newspapers, magazines or in broadcasting — can you really say that those voices can fully articulate and understand the struggles and priorities of women who can’t feed their kids, or men who can’t heat their homes,” British journalist Terri White wrote in the New Statesman in 2019. “Journalism helps us to make sense of the world, of our place in it. But how can that be true for the working class if they aren’t shaping the

In the Summer Heat, UPS Warehouse Workers Endure Sweltering Working Conditions

For about nine years, Ian Malabre, a friendly 40-year-old Jamaican immigrant, has engaged in the back-breaking work of sorting packages at UPS’s Foster Avenue warehouse in Canarsie, Brooklyn, making just two dollars over the minimum wage. Despite working for the company for nearly a decade, they refuse to make him a full-time employee. Over the past few weeks, as the City baked in a heat wave, his general frustration with his low pay and too few hours has been exacerbated by the sweltering condi

NYC's Crackdown on Illegal Dirt Bikes Curbs Delivery Workers

When 24-year-old Emanuel Ponze woke up on a bright June morning, he was in a joyous mood. He had spent the night watching movies and drinking beer with his brothers and some friends, a well-deserved break from the 50 to 60-hour weeks he worked as a delivery worker for Doordash. When Ponze left his brother’s apartment in the Bronx to return home to his wife, he realized his moped was gone. Like most delivery workers, Ponze had feared that his moped would one day be stolen, so he had installed a
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