“We’ll stay here every day with the coffin, until this is resolved,” Local 78’s representative Frank Ortega said this morning, as he stood with Elvis Pilaloa dressed in a hazmat suit, in front of Schweppe Burgdorff Realty in Montclair. “We’ve been doing this [kind of public protest] for years, in New York City and New Jersey,” says Ortega, “and with positive results.” Resolution means – first and foremost – the asbestos contracting companies [that Schweppe Burgdorff hires CORRECTION: that Jay Schweppe hires] must pay their workers health benefits, he told Baristanet. Yesterday, at the same location, there was a giant rat sighting.
When I arrived, a man, whom Ortega identified as a local asbestos remediator, was “trying to intimidate them” threatening a lawsuit, and telling them they should get a real job. Overheard when leaving, he said “you should be ashamed of yourselves.”