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As soon as Best Super Cleaning workers arrived at a demolition site in New York, one of the first things they started doing was looking for basics: a broom, buckets and plastic bags to move debris, pieces of solid columns that can be used as a battering ram to knock down drywall; and when the height of the location required it, ropes that could serve as harnesses or lifelines.

The demolition company they work for did not provide them with such tools for years, workers claim. “It’s embarrassing to admit it,” said one former employee who didn’t want to be identified by name for fear of jeopardizing ongoing disability claims with the company, “but we had to steal brooms from buildings because we didn’t have tools.”

“Last spring, we heard about similar issues from workers at Dotdash Meredith and Chipotle, where management had failed to respond or even retaliated against workers who filed requests for NY HERO worker committees,” Maritza Silva-Farrell, executive director of the Alliance for a Greater New York (ALIGN), said. “When workers brought their complaints to the Department of Labor, no action against the employer was taken.”

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