Just Manufacturing


“I want to see trained elevator mechanics and elevator mechanic’s helpers working on elevators.” Due to an inability to fill job postings with elevator mechanic’s helpers, the Housing Authority has been using laborers with little training to do the work, documents obtained by the Daily News show. NYCHA elevator maintenance workers work on an elevator at Patterson Houses in the Bronx. (Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Daily News) At least 18 people who work under the unskilled “city laborer” designation have been assigned to do elevator repair work in 17 public housing developments, including the Millbrook, Marcy and Baruch houses, according to a May 29 letter from Local 237 attorney Marty Glennon to NYCHA. “The failure to have trained personnel work on sophisticated electrical equipment creates serious safety concerns for our members and for NYCHA that needs to be addressed these details immediately,” Glennon wrote. “Despite the fact that the city laborers have no training or experience in working with electric or elevators, it is now NYCHA’s unwritten policy to jeopardize the safety of their employees and residents.” In mid-June, Housing Authority labor lawyer John Bilancini responded, writing that it hired the less skilled laborers to fill the posts because it was “unable to identify a sufficient number of qualified elevator mechanic’s helpers.” “City laborers undergo a training program,” he wrote. “[They] are always supervised by a supervisor of elevator mechanics, and they are never placed on night shifts, where there is less supervision.” Teamsters Local 237 President Gregory Floyd (Bryan Smith/HANDOUT) NYCHA spokeswoman Rochel Leah Goldblatt said that if laborers show they’re not up to snuff, “they will be released from their duties.” “Laborers were hired because we could not find qualified helpers and needed staff with a similar skill set,” she said. “If we did not utilize laborers our staffing levels would be diminished and our ability to provide services would be hampered.” But Glennon told The News on Friday that the elevator repair training NYCHA offers to city laborers is a crash course at best. He and Local 237 contend that the laborers — who are paid $36.25 per hour, $5.25 more than the $31 hourly wage elevator mechanic’s helpers make — are not nearly as well trained to do the work because helpers are required to have three years of on-the-job experience before they’re allowed to take on the role. “It’s just insane,” he said. “The sad thing is nobody’s going to pay attention until somebody gets hurt.” Rats infest NYCHA's Marcy Houses in Brooklyn, New York.


[Water Consumption] [Training]