Most Workers Fixing New York Subways are Black, Latino

Subway cleanup after Hurricane Sandy comes with serious health risks

As much of  the East Coast stumbles back online after being walloped by Hurricane Sandy, New York City transit workers are racing to get the Big Apple’s vital subway system up and running again after many stations lost power or were flooded with seawater. But as Colorlines’ Jamilah King points out, at least 60 percent of the public-sector workers who maintain the city’s subways are black or Latino:

Here’s a quick demographic look at New York City’s subway workers:

  1. Three out of five urban transit workers are black or Latino.
  2. A majority are at least 45 years old.
  3. Nearly 80 percent are New York City residents.
  4. Almost 35 percent live in Brooklyn.
  5. The work is, almost by definition, is a health hazard.

The city has been operating with a patchwork subway system since Sandy, with crowded shuttle buses filling in for subways and clogging up traffic. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said that the city might need to rethink its subway infrastructure to make it less vulnerable to extreme weather events like the storm.

Read the whole story at ColorLines.

ACROSS THE WEB