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As 80,000 New York City Workers Prepare To Return To Offices Monday, Many Remain Unsure If It's Safe

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's the final weekend before many New York City workers head back to the office.

While Mayor Bill de Blasio insists it's safe to return, others remain unconvinced, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported Friday.

People out walking, biking and dining are welcomed signs that the city is coming back. With that, the mayor wants to bring city workers back into their offices.

"The 180,000 city employees have been vaccinated. Very important to note that 80% of the workforce is, right now, at their jobs and has been through the height of the pandemic. We've got to do the work to bring the city back," de Blasio said.


He believes people are more productive in the workplace. On Monday, 80,000 more city workers are expected to return.

"It's not safe, it's not equitable, it's not healthy," said Jeremiah Cedeño of City Workers for Justice, a grassroots organization created during the coronavirus pandemic.

The organization has been pushing pack on the plan to bring workers back since it was announced in January.

"All of our channels began to get flooded with messages. City workers sending concerns, complaints," Cedeño said.

Cedeño said the concerns include childcare for city workers, the impact on public transit and safety conditions in offices.

"These buildings are old, these buildings don't have already good ventilation systems. So, you're sending people back into these very bad, bad working environments," he said.


The city spent more than $200 million to prepare office buildings for the return of workers. De Blasio pointed to success in schools and robust testing, saying the same methodologies will be applied in the offices.

"Folks are going to be in, or part of the time, in most settings. Not all the time, and there's going to be distancing, on top of masks, on top of cleaning, on top of ventilation," the mayor said.

"We all want to see the city reopen... we want it done in a way that is safe," said Cedeño.

Hundreds of current and former city staff members are expected to rally outside City Hall on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to push the return date back to September.

Mayor de Blasio said he believes the return will boost the local economy and be an important indicator for the private sector. It falls in line with his goal to have the city fully reopen by July 1.

UPDATE: New York City Workers Cite COVID Concerns Ahead Of Rally To Postpone Monday's Scheduled Office Return

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