Elected officials and the labor union are calling for South Queens, New York, to remove the general contractor of a construction site after two worker injuries within two months, according to Bill Parry of QNS.

The first injury happened when splintered wood struck a worker’s knee on Dec. 23, and the second injury was in early February when a worker injured his back by falling from the seventh floor of a building.

Elected officials and labor union leaders held a rally opposing Joy Construction, the general contractor of the job site, on Jan. 25, which was before the second injury.

South Queens’ Department of Buildings issued a stop work order on the construction site after the most recent injury, and discovered during its investigation that the site’s safety coordinator had an expired license. A new project safety coordinator was found four days later, and the Department of Buildings allowed work to resume, even though workers still allegedly faced hazardous work conditions.

“This is a company whose history appears to bring more pain and suffering than joy,” said Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson. “With a disturbing pattern of exploitative and unsafe construction practices resulting in multiple worker deaths and criminal lawsuits, we must stand against Joy Construction in solidarity with laborers and the community.”

Job sites with ties to Joy Construction and its principal have had six fatalities since 2004.

“Far Rockaway deserves better than to do business with a bad-faith actor whose business practices violate our community’s core values of workers’ rights, dignity and safety,” Anderson said. “My elected colleagues and I demand that HPD recognize the urgency of this situation to take Joy Construction off the Edgemere Commons affordable housing project. I wish the injured worker a full and speedy recovery and will continue to demand accountability.”

The Department of Buildings issued a summons for the site’s safety coordinator after the second injury, saying, “A construction site cannot be active with an unlicensed safety person acting on their behalf. This is an illegal act.”

State Sen. James Sanders demanded that Joy Construction take accountability for the injuries.

“This latest construction worker injury at Edgemere Commons adds to Joy Construction’s alarming record of worker injuries,” Sanders said. “It’s a stark reminder that some workers, especially immigrants and formerly incarcerated individuals, are often voiceless and exploited.”

Sanders is also pushing to pass Carlos’ Law, which is named after Carlos Moncayo, a laborer who was buried alive at a construction site in 2015.

“My fight doesn’t stop with Carlos’ Law,” Sanders said. “We encourage HPD to remove Joy Construction from the Edgemere Commons development in Far Rockaway. At the same time, we need the Construction Justice Act to ensure fair wages, benefits and, most importantly, a level playing field where every worker can speak up without fear. We’ve lost too many lives like Carlos Moncayo to preventable workplace tragedies.”

“We can never minimalize the safety procedures that must be in place at construction sites,” said Assembly Member Stacey Pheffer Amato. “Last year I started calling for Joy Construction to be removed from this project because they are non-union and had a record that was questionable. I’m disappointed to see that my suspicions came to fruition and there were injuries. The city must remove Joy Construction from this project – I will not tolerate workers being in danger at their job.”

The January rally was organized because there were concerns that Joy Construction had not been vetted properly. The company did not work on the project’s first phase but was hired for the second phase.

The local labor union is now requesting that a more responsible contractor replace Joy Construction because of the two injuries.

“Two construction workers have been injured on Joy Construction’s watch at Edgemere Commons,” said Mike Prohaska, the local labor union’s business manager. “These incidents are part of an unacceptable pattern of behavior. For too long, Joy Construction and other low-road contractors have gotten away with endangering and underpaying construction workers because no clear standards exist for the treatment and payment of construction workers on city-subsidized affordable housing developments.”

Prohaska also said that many labor unions, worker advocates and community organizations are lobbying for lawmakers to pass the Construction Justice Act, which would require companies to pay workers at least $40 per hour and hire locally when building affordable housing.

“That’s why we’re fighting for the Construction Justice Act – city legislation to help fix this broken system,” Prohaska said. “If the CJA were already law, contractors like Joy Construction would have to meet clear standards for how they treat and pay construction workers who build Edgemere Commons and other city-subsidized affordable housing developments.”