Union sues over return of workers to NM building

September 17, 2013 • State News

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A public employees union has filed a lawsuit to stop the Public Education Department from returning employees to the basement of a government office building in Santa Fe that’s undergone remediation for mold and asbestos.

A local chapter of the Communications Workers of America brought the lawsuit Tuesday in state District Court in Santa Fe, saying the department hasn’t adequately addressed health hazards in the building.

Department spokesman Larry Behrens has said about 20 workers will be relocated to the building’s basement. State officials contend that testing has shown no potential health risks.

The union wants testing for hazardous vapors that could seep into the building from soil and groundwater contamination from leaking underground gasoline storage tanks in the area and chemicals from other former businesses

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