The Legislative sessions for the New York State Assembly and Senate have ended for the summer. While there had been much attention paid to rent control bills and tax cap legislation, a Bill that would affect utility worker workers in New York were not brought to the floor to be voted on.
Utility Worker Assault Bill. Introduced by Senators Larkin and Assemblyman Moya, A4738 is an act to amend the penal law, in relation to elevating an assault of a utility worker to the class D felony of assault in the second degree. Many of our members put themselves in harm’s way when collecting debt for the utility‘s. Utility workers, who perform vital services, are, with increasing frequency, the victims of assault and aggression. In particular, customer field representatives, who read meters and make repairs, are vulnerable to crime because they work outdoors, at all hours of the night. It is currently a felony to cause injury to peace officers, police officers, firefighters or emergency medical workers and even trash collectors with the intent to prevent them from performing their duties. This Bill would reclassify assaults on utility workers from misdemeanors to felonies. – Pat Guidic
Read below Business Manager Don Daley’s letter to Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie:
May 29, 2015
The Honorable Carl Heastie
Speaker of NYS Assembly
Albany NY, 12248
RE: A4738 Bill to elevate the assault of a utility worker to the class D felony of assault in the second degree
Dear MOA Heastie,
On behalf of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1049, I must bring to your attention an issue that is of importance to utility workers across New York State.
Whereas Local 1049 represents over 3600 utility workers on Long Island and is an affiliate of the New York State Utility Labor Council representing 15,000 IBEW members who work in the utility industry across New York as well as our brothers and sisters In Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) Local 1-2, we strongly urge you to bring Assembly Bill A4738 to the Assembly Floor for debate and vote.
It is our understanding that A4738 is currently in the Codes Committee. We have met with many senior Members of the Assembly Majority and there is real support for this Bill. IBEW Local 1049 believes that the Assembly must take an active role in passing legislation that focuses on the critical issue of protecting utility workers from being assaulted while performing their duty.
To that end, we believe the Members of the Assembly have the best interests and safety of utility workers in focus and IBEW Local 1049 respectfully requests that you consider this bill and help move this protective legislation to the floor for successful passage.
With warmest regard, I remain Sincerely yours,