A newspaper says contractors are using immigrants, ex-cons, homeless people and teenagers to remove material containing asbestos from of aging buildings.
The Detroit Free Press reported this week in the second of a two-part series on asbestos that experts say documenting the extent of the problem is difficult because workers may be afraid to complain, may not know who to call or don’t speak English. The earlier newspaper report shows that Michigan’s worker agency didn’t issue fines in many asbestos abatement cases.
Dan Somenauer, business manager of Taylor-based Abatement Workers Regional Local 207, says some of his members before joining the union said they worked for companies that paid substandard wages and hired homeless workers.
Craig Gestring, an assistant U.S. attorney in Rochester, New York, says he has prosecuted several cases that involved workers who were “unskilled” and “unknowledgeable” and “it’s always done to save a buck.”
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