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Violations Cited at Flatbush Gardens Apartment Complexes

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Labor Department found 20 violations of workplace safety and health standards at Flatbush Gardens Apartment Complex in Brooklyn.

During contract negotiations last October, maintenance workers filed a complaint against the owner with the Department of Labor's Occupational Safely and Health Administration.

A month later, more than 70 Flatbush Gardens maintenance workers were locked-out by their employer, Renaissance Equity Holdings, and have been unemployed since.  

Luciene Clarke, who worked as a handyman for 23 years at the affordable housing complex, said the "raw sewage in the basement, leaky ceilings" and "dangling electrical wires" were affecting the worker's health.

Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union represents the Flatbush Gardens maintenance workers. In a statement, Kyle Bragg, vice president of 32BJ, said "the workers have for years voiced concerns about deteriorating structural conditions at the complex; their concerns have been ignored by the building's owners."

Workplace violations also include exposure to lead and asbestos. The owner, Renaissance Equity Holdings, faces more than $50,000 in proposed fines. The company has 15 days to respond to the Labor Department's citations.

In a statement, Robert Wolf, a representing attorney, said "contested the allegations and fully expects a favorable resolution."

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