Hundreds Protest Unsafe, Unfair Contractor; 'Rat' Joins Demonstration Against Out-of-State Rat Contractor

Friday July 30, 1999

OLD WESTBURY, N.Y., July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of Long Island union construction workers and community activists today demonstrated outside the main entrance of the State University of New York, Old Westbury College, to call attention to the New York State University Construction Fund's decision to award the $14 million new Student Union construction project to an out-of-state, unsafe contractor. The demonstrators were joined by the 15-foot inflatable "rat," which has come to symbolize unfair, unsafe contractors throughout the metropolitan New York region. "We are here today, to let the members of the Old Westbury College community, both faculty and students, know that their safety and well being is at risk," said Pat Piscitelli, Business Manager and Secretary Treasurer of General Building Laborers' Local 66. "By awarding Roy Kay this contract, the University Construction Fund has acted with reckless disregard for the safety of the workers and the public."

Roy Kay, Inc., headquartered in Freehold, New Jersey has a long history of safety violations, and irresponsible business practices. In May 1999 the New York State Dormitory Authority, citing a long list of unsatisfactory and unsafe work, denied Roy Kay's bid on the $9 million rehabilitation and expansion of the Brooklyn College Library. "It makes no sense " said Bobby Bonanza, President of Local 66. "One state agency cites Roy Kay as 'not a responsible contractor,' while another awards it a $14 million contract. This is a classic example of the left hand, not knowing what the right hand is doing."

"Months ago we met with the state officials to raise our concerns," said Bonanza. "We provided them with example after example of Roy Kay's irresponsible, dangerous actions. Queensborough Community College, Hunter College, City College, New York Psychiatric Institute, Baruch College, have all been the victim of Roy Kay's shoddy, dangerous business practices. It's a crime, that with so many responsible, good contractors on Long Island and in New York, state officials have chosen an out-of-state 'rat' contractor."

"Hopefully our presence here today, with the help of our friend the 'rat,' will call to the public's attention the real danger that Roy Kay presents to our community," added Piscitelli.

The General Building Laborers' Local 66 represents over 2,000 union construction laborers in Nassau and Suffolk counties. They are affiliated with the 13,000 member Mason Tenders District Council of Greater New York and Long Island and the Laborers' International Union of North America, AFL-CIO.

SOURCE: General Building Laborers' Local Union No. 66

Copyright 1998, PR Newswire

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