June 3rd, 2008
Yesterday, a Suffolk County, New York law that required required it’s 17,000 licensed contractors to prove their employees are not undocumented immigrants was struck down.
Judge Ralph Costello ruled that the county legislature broke its own rules when it rejected, in an 8-8 vote, Legis. Ricardo Montano’s May 13 argument that the bill was improperly moved from committee.
Costello ordered legislators to vote again on Montano’s motion and
voided all subsequent action on the worker status bill.
The judge’s decision kills the measure for now, though County Executive Steve Levy said he expects the bill to be reintroduced and passed again. The earliest that process could be completed is August…
Via / Newsday, Email
March 26th, 2008
Yesterday, I was reminded, marked the anniversary of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire that claimed the lives of 146 people, mostly young immigrant women. Because the doors of the factory had been locked, the only method of escape for the workers was jumping for their lives and ultimately to their deaths.
The Triangle Fire tragically illustrated that fire inspections and precautions were woefully inadequate at the time. Workers recounted their helpless efforts to open the ninth floor doors to the Washington Place stairs. They and many others afterwards believed they were deliberately locked– owners had frequently locked the exit doors in the past, claiming that workers stole materials. For all practical purposes, the ninth floor fire escape in the Asch Building led nowhere, certainly not to safety, and it bent under the weight of the factory workers trying to escape the inferno. Others waited at the windows for the rescue workers only to discover that the firefighters’ ladders were several stories too short and the water from the hoses could not reach the top floors. Many chose to jump to their deaths rather than to burn alive.