Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Blissville chemical company in hot water
Luis Rodriguez is one of four men who recently shared their inside view of Ronbar Laboratories in Long Island City.
The factory off of Van Dam Street is where Rodriguez along with Carlos Vega, Courtney Lloyd and Pedro Hernandez worked for more than a combined 40 years, until they say it just got be too much.
“I was shocked to see what was going on,” said Vega.
“In my opinion, the owner did not care,” Lloyd added. “The safety of the public, his own safety, he did not care.”
The man that Lloyd says did not care is Sheldon Borgen, the owner of Ronbar Laboratories, a company that specializes in the production of cleaning supplies. But in a civil complaint filed in Queens County Court, the former employees state that in reality Ronbar maintains a workplace riddled with incredibly dangerous violations.
The former employees allege in the complaint that the company disposed of chemicals by dumping them into open sewers and pipes. Rodriguez said that the marching orders from management were simple: You don’t like it, you can get out.
The workers are alleging there were numerous federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations that were violated. One of those alleged infractions is not only prohibited by OSHA, but the city has banned it for more than a decade.
The New York City Smoke-Free Air Act of 2002 made the act of smoking illegal for businesses housed inside of buildings, factories and warehouses. However, inside the facility where highly flammable pure alcohol is alleged to be exposed, PIX11 News obtained video of a Ronbar employee smoking on the floor of the facility.