For Immediate Release
May 29, 2015
Jorge Torres, El Centro del Inmigrante,
Nadia Marin-Molina, NDLON,

OSHA Investigation into Worker’s Death at Worksite Finds “Willful” Disregard by Construction Company, Fines Over $121,000

“No more excuses” for Staten Island DA to delay immediate charges against Formica Construction

Staten Island, NY: The Justice4Delfino Campaign welcomes the completion of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigation of Formica Construction and the significant fines levied in the death of Delfino Velazquez, who was crushed in an unpermitted demolition on Staten Island.

OSHA has issued 7 citations, 3 serious, 3 willful, and one other than serious, with fines totaling $121,000. This amount is more than 5 times larger than the fines in a previous worker death, that of Lorenzo Pavia, who was killed in a trench collapse while working for Formica in 2003. This acknowledges the seriousness of the violations, as well as the importance of vocal and persistent organizing by workers, community and family members.

In light of the results of the OSHA investigation confirming Formica’s “willful” disregard for worker safety, the Justice4Delfino Campaign reiterates its call for the Staten Island District Attorney to immediately press criminal charges against Formica Construction and for the NYC Department of Buildings to revoke Formica’s license.

Delfino’s family and organizations participating in the campaign issued the following reactions:

Monica Velazquez, Daughter of Delfino Velazquez: “Thanks to all who have supported us in this campaign for justice for Delfino and all workers in the center. My family is very grateful that after six months OSHA has completed a good investigation, with $121,000 in fines. Thanks to all.”

Jorge Torres, El Centro del Inmigrante: “One more time, it shows that when workers organize and fight back, we are stronger than the people in power. After 6 months of consecutive actions and on the 6 month anniversary, OSHA fined Formica Construction company with $121,000 for their responsibility in killing our member and friend Delfino Velazquez. This is 10 times more than what OSHA usually sets in fines for other death cases. We demand that the DA use this report to file criminal charges on Mr. Formica and we demand that the DOB revoke his license. We will keep mourning the death of Delfino and fight like hell for the living until we achieve justice for all workers!”

Charlene Obernauer, NYCOSH: “OSHA has done its job and fined an employer who endangered a worker’s life. It’s time for the Staten Island DA to move forward with criminal charges.”

Nadia Marin-Molina, NDLON: “There are no more excuses for inaction now that OSHA has completed its 6 month investigation. The Staten Island District Attorney should act immediately to press criminal charges, so that Formica, a repeat offender, is brought to justice. Day laborers and community members who have been organizing for justice believe that criminal charges and revocation of the license to operate is the minimum that should be done to protect all workers.”

Justice4Delfino Campaign supporters: El Centro Community Job Center, National Day Laborer OrganizingNetwork, NDLON, NYCOSH, Wind of the Spirit , New York City Workers Center Federation, Enlace, Laundry Workers Center, New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Street VendorProject , Project Hospitality, Don Bosco Workers Inc. Port Chester NY, Worker’s Justice Project, and Laborers Local 55.


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