Local leaders demand a moratorium on non-essential construction work

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Local leaders are calling on the governor and the mayor to enact a moratorium on non-essential construction work during the coronavirus pandemic. 

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People all over the city are working remotely and bars and restaurants are only offering takeout and delivery. However, those who work in construction have received emails saying they should continue work as usual. 

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, along with City Council members Brad Lander and Carlos Menchaca sent a letter to the mayor. They're calling on the Department of Buildings to follow the lead of other major cities like Boston in suspending all construction aside from emergency efforts. 

 

However, not everyone agrees that all non-essential projects should be immediately shut down. The president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, Carlo A. Scissura, told News 12 he believes workers who want to continue to work should be able to do so.

 Councilmember Menchaca says not all workers feel comfortable speaking up. 

"They are returning to work sites where people are sick, they become sick, and they return back to the job because they don't want to lose their job and until the government says stop going to work, they are going to keep going,” said Menchaca. 

He says safety needs to come first. In a statement he made this past weekend,  the mayor agreed that luxury condos are not the priority in this city. However, according to his office, suspending all non-essential construction is a decision for the governor.

News 12 reached out to the governor’s office and has not heard back yet.

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