The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health 37th Awards Gala Honors U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the B&H Exposed Campaign and SSEU Local 371’s Deborah Williams


CONTACT: Mónica Novoa, NYCOSH, 929-366-5320


The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health 37th Awards Gala

Honors U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the B&H Exposed Campaign

and SSEU Local 371’s Deborah Williams


Event Held in Downtown Manhattan at United Federation of Teachers


New York, NY (May 12, 2016) — On Thursday, May 12, The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health held its 37th Awards Gala, highlighting the theme of Shared Strength. NYCOSH collaborates with workers, unions, community and health organizations, and government agencies throughout New York on safety and health trainings, member forums, advocacy campaigns and trouble-shooting workplace issues and hazards.


According to NYCOSH’s Board Chair, Lee Clarke, “This year’s honoree and award recipients excel at collaboration and tapping the spirit of shared strength, contributing to the greater good of the movement for workplace safety and health in New York and beyond.


Honoree: U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senator for New York

For championing the health and safety of 9/11 responders, survivors and their families in New York and across the country.


Senator Gillibrand remarked, “I want to thank NYCOSH for presenting me with this award for the passage of the James Zadroga Act. Our 9/11 first responders who are ill now because of their bravery at Ground Zero, deserve the best care and treatment and this bill is going to guarantee them healthcare for the rest of their lives.”


Community/Labor Activism Award: B+H Exposed Campaign, B+H warehouse workers; Laundry Workers Center; USW District 4.

For their innovative campaign advocating for workplace safety and health and the right to organize. 


Raul Pedraza, one of the B&H worker leaders stated, “Since the beginning of this campaign we have been fighting for the right to be treated like human beings because so many workers live in the shadows like us.  This campaign shed some light to all the workers who have to live under so much discrimination.”


Karen Silkwood Award: Deborah Williams, Social Service Employees Union Local 371

For her work as a tireless advocate and educator around all occupational safety and health issues that affect NYC’s frontline public sector workers.


Deborah Williams stated, “I’d like to thank NYCOSH for the honor of receiving the Karen Silkwood Award. I’m inspired everyday by our SSEU local 371 members who once they know their rights, use them as a foundation to take action.”

NYCOSH was also joined by Verizon strike workers from CWA District 1, straight off the picket line.

Micki Siegel de Hernandez, Health & Safety Director with CWA District 1 stated,”Verizon, which is on OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program list, has put an unskilled and ill prepared temporary workforce into the field.  The replacement workers are often endangering themselves and also the general public in eight states while Verizon pretends that work is continuing unaffected by the strike. Verizon already didn’t take safety seriously enough.  Now, by placing a barely-trained, inexperienced workforce out there, they are actively endangering these workers and the public health in order to try and maintain their profitability.  Verizon should bargain a fair contract and get skilled CWA and IBEW members back on the job before anyone is seriously injured or killed.”


NYCOSH Gala Sponsors



The New York State Trial Lawyers Association



Grey & Grey, LLC

New York State Laborers’ Union

Metal Lathers Local 46 Labor Management Trust

New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA)

Greater New York Laborers-Employers Cooperation and Education Trust (LECET)

Amalgamated Bank

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, UFCW

United Federation of Teachers (UFT)



Amalgamated Transit Union International

District Council 37, AFSCME, AFL-CIO

New York State United Teachers (NYSUT)

USW, District 4

International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Local 237

CSEA Local 1000

Workers United NY-NJ Regional Joint Board


About Us

The New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH) is a membership organization of workers, unions, community-based organizations, and workers’ rights activists. NYCOSH uses training, education, advocacy, technical assistance, and organizing to improve health and safety conditions in our workplaces, our communities, and our environment. Founded in 1979 on the principle that workplace injuries, illnesses, and deaths are preventable, NYCOSH works to extend and defend every person’s right to a safe and healthy workplace and community.