Passaic County News

Laborers Union Cite Safety Concerns in Protesting Improvements to Passaic County Building


PATERSON, NJ- The Passaic County Administration Building may have a rodent problem, at least if you consider a 15 foot inflatable rat greeting passersby a problem.

The rodent has been on display most mornings over the past several weeks courtesy of LiUNA Local 78, whose members are trained and employed in the field of asbestos remediation and removal, in protest of the hiring of West Caldwell based Superior Abatement as a subcontractor on the ongoing rehabilitation of the Passaic County Historic Courthouse Annex.

Earlier this year, the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders awarded a $7.9 million construction contract to H&S Construction and Mechanical of Elizabeth to repurpose the structure to house offices for the Passaic County Vicinage Family Probation Division. H&S further subcontracted work related to asbestos removal to Superior Abatement.

Sign Up for E-News

According to court documents provided by LiUNA Local 78, Nick Petrovski, the owner and operator of Superior Abatement, pled guilty to “Fraud and False Statements” in relation to tax filings he made to the IRS between 2009 and 2014. Under an agreement with the United States Department of Justice, Petrovsky entered a plea of guilty to this act that resulted in a total tax due of $279,994.07 for the quarter ending June 30, 2012. Under the plea agreement the USDOJ would initiate no further criminal charges related to the other false filings. Petrovski was subsequently sentenced to three months in prison and a fine of at up to $250,000. After two postponements, Petrovski is currently scheduled to report to serve his sentence at Brooklyn MDC on January 8, 2018.

Saying that “asbestos remediation is not only a highly dangerous profession, it is also an industry fraught with contractors willing to take shortcuts and jeopardize the health and safety of their workers,” Robert Lewandowski, a spokesperson for  Laborers Local 78, suggested that their members are at the site every morning because when they “aren’t working on a project we are making sure other contractors meet our standards and treat their work seriously and their workers appropriately.” 

Members of Local 78 are, according to Lewandowski, the most skilled and professional workers and employers in the industry, and says that because the damaging effects of not handling asbestos properly may not appear until much later, “after the contractors are gone and the damage to one’s lungs is irreversible,” his members will continue to stage protests to “let contractors know we demand better” and to let “the workers know they deserve better.”

While H&S Construction and Mechanical offered no comment Superior Abatement said via email that “Local 78 is incorrect,” and that “Superior Abatement is completely compliant with all regulations in respect to this project.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Upcoming Events


Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Cobb Park, Paterson

Prayer March for Peace

Law & Justice Religions And Spirituality


Sat, March 31, 7:00 PM

Riverside Manor, Paterson

The Black Pink Affair Fundraiser

Giving Back


Thu, April 12, 6:00 PM

Rosa L. Parks High School, Paterson

Your Voice Your Vote Municipal Debate Series

Education Government

City Activist Says: Return the Benches

March 23, 2018

Dear Editor:


I attended a recent city council workshop to address the issue of the missing benches in front of city hall. To me, this decision was  shortsighted and counterproductive. As a longtime city activist I find it rather odd that the mayor found it necessary to remove the benches from in the first place.


The absence of the pedestrian benches takes away the ...

Recently Passed County Budget Built on 'Fiscally Sound Policies'

March 15, 2018

PATERSON, NJ – Saying it reflects “fiscally sound policies, strong budgetary flexibility, proactive increases to manage volatile expense line items, including significant reserves for workers’ compensation, health benefits, and liability insurance, and an overall net debt of 1% of market value,” the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders adopted the 2018 budget on ...

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly Honors Women in Law Enforcement

March 22, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- Paterson Police Officers Jevonn McRae and Angelica Rodriguez were among 13 women in law enforcement honored by Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) at his sixth annual Public Safety Awards Dinner on Tuesday. Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer Latressa Greene, who was a member of the Paterson Police Department until budget cuts caused more than 100 police officers to be laid off, ...

Passaic County To Host "Vets In Crisis” Veterans’ Prevention Initiative

March 23, 2018

"Vets In Crisis,” a Passaic County Veterans’ Prevention Initiative, will be hosted by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders & Catholic Charities Diocese of Paterson on Wednesday, March 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Passaic County Community College Public Safety Academy, 300 Oldham Rd., Wayne.


Register online at: ...

International High School Ladies Participate in 'Grand Tea Party'

March 24, 2018

On Monday, March 19, International High School hosted a “Grand Tea Party” in honor of Women’s History Month to “expose young ladies on how to govern themselves in all aspects of life.” The event, the invitation read, intended to impart on the student attendees that good manners can “mean the difference between success and failure in many aspects of ...