Brooklyn, N.Y., protest
'Workers' Comp doesn't work'
About 50 demonstrators protested outside the Workers'
Compensation Board in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Dec. 8. They included
Chinatown work ers from garment factories, transit,
construction, asbestos removal and others who have been injured
on the job.
They charged the Workers' Compensation Board with corruption
and neglect of injured workers' right to adequate and timely
Commonly, claims for compensation and medical treatment are
denied to workers until they can prove that the injury was
work-related. The burden of this proof is on the worker.
The employers' insurance companies automatically challenge
98 percent of all workers' claims. Typically it takes anywhere
from three to six years to resolve a case.
Protesters chanted: "Broke my back the other day. Workers'
Comp said go away."
Krzysztof Dobrowolski and other injured workers spoke at the
rally. Dobrowolski was a demolition worker who fell through a
roof and suffered head and back injuries. Suffering from
seizures and chronic pain, he has been unable to work since his
accident in 1994.
After five years, the WCB decided against his claim and
closed his case.
The demonstrators called for a workers' commission to
investigate the insurance companies and the WCB. The
demonstration was organized by the National Mobilization
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