Object - To buy a product cheaper, at any expense .
Using our money the DEP in New York gets MOST of it's manhole covers in India. Con Ed gets roughly 1/4 from India . “We can’t maintain the luxury of Europe and the United States, with all the boots and all that,” said Sunil Modi, director of Shakti Industries one of the companies which let the New York Times into their world .
Mark Daly, director of communications for the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, said via e-mail to the Times that state law requires the city to buy the lowest-priced products available that fit its specifications.
Manhole covers can be 20-60% cheaper than those forged by Steelworkers in the United States . Indian workers make just a few dollars a day, work with only one safety stipulation (as far as we the reader can tell), that they wear safety goggles .
According to ConEd , who buys roughly 2,750 of it's manhole covers from India, "We were disturbed by the photo's" and "we take worker safety very seriously" and state that in newly rewritten international contracts there will be added the inclusion of safety requirements to “take appropriate actions to provide a safe and healthy workplace,”.
New York is not the only place that off shores it's manhole manufacturing , and India is not the only place that makes the covers. In searching for manhole images for this story, I came across quite a few made in China and Mexico, from here to LA .
This follows recent news, according to representatives of Sheetmetal workers Local 137, that the NYC MTA (Mass Transit Authority) in NY is building bus shelters, to the tune of $50,000,000 contract, with parts manufactured in China . Who's to say the conditions are any better there ? At least the Indian manhole covers proudly display "Made In India". When I was younger India was a quality manufacturer of dress shirts , in recently browsing in a local store I noticed that all the same brands from back then (Koman, etc) were now made in China. In asking the store owner about it he stated "India is more expensive, they all moved their factories to China"
I would like more info on where money we invest into our municipalities goes . Do they invest in the US anymore? When my mom worked for the Board Of Ed here in NY, they had a policy of reinvestment into our nation, the pencils were "Made In USA". Swingline Staple company was all they used. If you don't know, Swingline Staple Company , which was located in Long Island City jettisoned to Mexico directly after NAFTA was signed . They were Teamsters . They lost their jobs. When are we going to stand up and say "enough is enough", lets keep just a tiny scrap of industry here in the United States ? Why do we continuously lower our standards ? When will there actually be any kind of fair trade ? I have to admit that this is a story I had a problem writing. I feel that the Times story, while fascinating, only focuses on one tiny microcosm of our downward spiral to have the cheapest, crappiest products made in countries with the worst conditions at the cost of the entire American industry.
The original story in The Times can be found Here
The Four Points By Sheraton on W.25 street which was built with oppressed undocumented workers and gained notoriety when fighting in the streets broke out during the construction stage , is back in the news again . the director of Chelsea Grand Hung Luk and John Lam (chairman Chelsea Grand and notorious nonunion developer) are out to screw the taxpayers again , by not giving their workers health insurance .
The workers at the Sheraton Four Points Chelsea are out with the rat , protesting managment's violations of the law which include threats , harassment , intimidation , surveillance and termination of union supporters .
John Lam is getting great attention lately in his bringing to the streets of New York an oppression of workers rights seen in most third world countries . While his developments continue to use unsafe contractors , undocumented , uninsured and unskilled workers , taxpayer monies , undermining labor laws and creating safety hazzards for their workers and the public a new schemes for profiting on taxpayers and the workers has come to my attention .
While the Sheraton Four Points Chelsea charges an average of $409 a night , they pay their workers poverty wages . Many of the workers who clean the rooms depend on Medicaid and Healthy Families First for themselves and their families .
Most NYC hotels provide free healthcare to their workers and families . The workers are out in the streets protesting management's violations of the law which include threats , harassment , intimidation , surveillance and termination of union supporters .
You too can show your support for the workers by calling Hung Luk , Executive Director of Chelsea Grand at 917-653-6688 and John Lam , Chairman of Chelsea Grand at 212-627-1888 and tell them to stop shifting their healthcare costs onto the taxpayers and to stop breaking the law .
Workers protesting outside of Four Points
Alternative places to stay in the Downtown and Westside NYC area
(from back of handout)
Hotel Pennsylvania 7th. and w.32rd. st
Radisson Martinique 5th. and 32nd. st
Red Roof Inn 6 W 32nd. st
Comfort Inn 42 W 35th. st
Wolcot 4 W 31st. st
The New Yorker 8th. Ave and W 34th. st
Hotel Stanford 43 W 32nd. st
La Quints Manhattan 17 W 32nd. st
Affina Manhattan 7th. and W 30th. st
The Herrald Square Hotel 19 W 31st. st
Wingate Inn 233 W 35th. st
Bridgestreet Herald Towers - 50 W 34th. st - 1-800-696-8284 (no web page)
The Hotel Chelsea - W 23rd Street and 7th Ave
Holiday Inn Soho - 138 Lafayette St. and Canal St.
Washington Square Hotel 6th. ave and Macdougal St.
Info from previous stories and leaflet handed out by The New York Hotel And Motel trades Council , AFL-CIO - 707 8th. Ave., New York , NY 10036 - (212) 245-8100