Within the worst of the pandemic, with New York Metropolis on lockdown, a military of 65,000 supply employees risked their lives to maintain town fed. However along with a world pandemic and unsafe climate, these employees additionally confronted threats to their lives — and now, one group is combating to maintain them protected.
A very harmful space is a darkish, remoted stretch alongside the Willis Avenue Bridge, which connects Manhattan and the Bronx. That is the place thieves ambushed one man, hit him within the face and made off along with his $2,000 electrical bike.
This kind of violent assault has occurred dozens of occasions in current months — and supply employees Sergio Solano and Juan Tapia are out to cease it.
“We do not wish to battle with anyone. We simply shield ourselves,” Tapia instructed CBS Information.
The “Supply Boys,” as they’re recognized, patrol the realm after their shifts to assist different employees cross the bridge safely.
“I shield my guys. I shield my folks, you understand?” Tapia mentioned.
Cheick Mohamed, a 26-year-old immigrant from Mali, mentioned he often worries about getting damage whereas on the job. Mohamed, who’s been a supply employee for 2 years, mentioned along with getting hit by automobiles and taxis, he is additionally had his bike stolen.
“Every single day I am worrying that one thing else can occur to me on the road,” he mentioned.
In a current survey from Cornell’s College of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Employees Justice Undertaking, 54% of New York Metropolis’s supply employees — a lot of them immigrants — reported being robbed, and 30% mentioned they had been assaulted throughout the theft.
To fight the violence, the Supply Boys talk in actual time over apps, sending alerts at any time when somebody is in bother.
“When [thieves] see these guys all collectively they can not do something,” Tapia mentioned.
Nonetheless, the lads who work to maintain others protected mentioned they fear about getting damage themselves.
“Final week we had a man shot as a result of they needed to take his bike,” Tapia mentioned.
Not less than ten New York Metropolis supply employees have been killed on the job this 12 months. That prompted the Supply Boys to start out protesting and lobbying metropolis officers.
Final month, New York Metropolis handed measures to enhance working circumstances and set minimal pay. Nevertheless it’s onerous to legislate security.
“If there was no person defending this bridge like you’re, what would occur?” requested CBS Information.
“They’re coming again… That is gonna occur,” Tapia mentioned.
“So it’s a must to keep?” CBS Information requested.
“We now have to remain,” he replied.
This story is a part of “CBS Night Information” sequence In Depth, which takes a deeper have a look at the tales within the headlines.