By David Winzelberg
June 21, 2011
About a dozen people gathered in front of the Cintas building in Central Islip on Tuesday to criticize tax breaks that are given to bad corporate citizens and don’t result in higher-paying jobs.
The protest, by Long Island Jobs with Justice, was one of five organized by labor advocates around the state as part of a campaign called Getting Our Money’s Worth.
The events held at companies in East Greenbush (near Albany), Buffalo, Rochester, Queens and Central Islip, were organized as “hunts for the missing jobs plan” because the group claimed that Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature have “failed to put the issue of jobs on the state agenda,” according to a statement.
Charlene Obernauer, executive director of Long Island Jobs with Justice, said Cintas received $600,000 in tax breaks from the Islip Industrial Development Agency between 2002 and 2008 for which the company created 185 jobs. But she said the jobs are low-paying and the company hasn’t been a good corporate citizen.
“Cintas was found discharging twice the legal limit of lead from its Central Islip plant and has intimidated and fired workers who tried to unionize the plant to improve their harsh working conditions,” Obernauer said. “Taxpayers should not be subsidizing low-road employers like Cintas that show such disregard for Long Island’s workers and environment.”
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