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Queens councilman introduces resolutions to get constituents back to work

Francisco Moya (Photo courtesy of campaign)

With the legislative session in Albany drawing to a close June 10, Councilman Francisco Moya introduced two resolutions to get people back to work and provide additional worker protections as the city’s economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moya represents Corona and East Elmhurst, two of the hardest-hit neighborhoods during the public health crisis and the economic downturn that followed. His Resolution 1646 calls on the state Legislature to pass, and Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign, legislation allowing the city to establish a community hiring program.

“Since joining the City Council, I have raised the lack of teeth and real local hiring in the city’s HireNYC program used on projects like neighborhood-wide rezoning. And as the city opens up and is on the road to recovery, there are many New Yorkers who are still struggling to get back on their feet,” Moya said. “The economic and health effects of COVID-19 have further exacerbated the economic disparities. We know our people want to get back to work but we must prioritize opportunities for those who have suffered the brunt of this pandemic to do so. That’s why I’ve been working with the administration to create this legislation since before the pandemic, when I joined the City Council.”

The resolution calling on this legislation would leverage the economic power of the billions of dollars that the city and its affiliated agencies spend each year on construction, supplies, consultants, software and services to remediate those economic disparities by providing middle-class job opportunities to low-income individuals and communities, including NYCHA residents.

“Establishing a community hiring program will enable us to work towards a real and equitable recovery with hundreds and thousands of jobs,” Moya said.

His second resolution, 1647, calls on the state Legislature to pass two measures providing that a construction contractor shall assume liability for any unpaid wages or debt resulting from making a wage claim.

“We cannot allow these unscrupulous companies and contractors to continue cheating the system and robbing workers,” Moya said. “Millions of workers are being cheated out of billions of dollars in wages and benefits. We need accountability and we need justice.”

The legislation introduced by state Senator Jessica Ramos, the chair of the Labor Committee, would provide that a construction contractor would assume liability for any unpaid wages, benefits, damages or attorneys’ fees related to any wage claim against any subcontractor. It passed the state Legislature on Wednesday, June 2, and awaits Gov. Cuomo’s signature.

“This is the opportunity to finally put an end to these bad contractors putting profit over people,” Moya said.

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