The Big Apple’s construction trades workers are still showing up for
work — sometimes even while sick — putting new pressure on City Hall to
close down job sites as it battles the spread of coronavirus, The Post has learned.
The developments come as construction union officials and sources
told the paper that de Blasio is eyeing a shutdown of the industry, like
what happened in Boston.
“If we knew that, they’d be escorted off the site if they were not
going voluntarily,” said city Building Trades Employers Association
president Lou Coletti, which represents 1,200 unionized contractors
across the five boroughs.
He emphasized such action could only apply to union jobs.
“I had a bad fever the other day. I’m fine now, but I still gotta
come to work,” a 45-year-old superintendent told a Post reporter while
working a construction site of a high-rise near Union Square.
“We have extra wash stations, we’re taking precautions, but we can’t
stop [working] unless the city stops us,” the person added. “There are
contracts and unions; there’s a lot of things involved, but we all wish
someone would make that decision already.”
Across the five boroughs, construction workers kept going about their business as usual.
“We have to take care of what we gotta take care of,” quipped Mario
Morales, 33, who was working another job site in Manhattan. “We gotta
work. We have our masks; we’re washing our hands, and taking the
Some lawmakers — including Brooklyn Councilmen Brad Lander and Carlos
Menchaca — are calling for the city to halt construction projects in
response to the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked if the Mayor Bill de Blasio supports a construction
moratorium, his spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein said in an email, “this is
one of the many things we’re discussing. We’ll let you know as soon as
we have update.”