The New York City Council adopted legislation last Thursday that it says will improve work conditions and bolster labor protections in the private sanitation industry. One of the bills authorizes the agency overseeing the private trash industry to directly police the labor unions at companies across the city. Another would require the agency to refer labor and wage violation cases to relevant law enforcement bodies.
The legislation, which is expected to be signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, mandates that the oversight agency, the Business Integrity Commission, or BIC, take action against union officials who have certain criminal convictions or dealings with members or associates of organized crime or anyone convicted of a racketeering activity. It allows the BIC to bar union officials from representing workers in the industry if they are found to be lacking “good character, honesty and integrity.”
The other measure requires the BIC to “inform the New York state attorney general, the New York state Department of Labor, the United States Department of Labor or other relevant city, state or federal law enforcement agency” if the agency had “reasonable cause to believe” that a trash company had violated labor law or engaged in “egregious or habitual nonpayment or underpayment of wages.”