Flushing is first stop for Labor-On-Wheels van

The state’s Labor-On-Wheels van, a new initiative aimed at bringing information regarding workers’ rights to immigrant communities recently made its debut in Flushing.
City Councilmember John Liu and Assemblymember Ellen Young greeted representatives from the state Department of Labor (DOL) as well as constituents who were eager to receive informational pamphlets about the rights they have as New York State workers.
“It’s very important that all the workers in our community understand their rights,” Liu said.
The new state initiative, announced last month by Governor Eliot Spitzer calls for DOL employees to drive around the Labor-On-Wheels vans throughout communities in order to educate immigrant workers about their labor rights and the services the state offers.
Leo Rosales, Director of Communications for the DOL, said that staff wants to make sure that all workers, regardless of whether they are in the country legally or illegally, should know that they have rights under state labor laws. Rosales noted that a worker not receiving minimum wage, which is currently $7.15 per hour, was the biggest complaint that his office received, but workers should also be aware of insurance and safety conditions that workers should know.
The Labor-On-Wheels van will make its way into different communities throughout the city, predominantly in the evenings and weekends, and Rosales said the next trip to Queens would likely be in Assemblymember Cathy Nolan’s District.
In addition, the DOL will set up temporary offices throughout New York City and staff them with bilingual agency representatives in an effort to provide much needed, basic resources to immigrants working throughout the city.

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