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Queens Chronicle

Western Queens: Hundreds wait for union job apps

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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2012 1:07 pm | Updated: 2:29 am, Thu Oct 11, 2012.

As of noon today all 500 job applications for coveted Local 46, the metallic lathers and reinforcing ironworkers union, were out the door. Men and women have been sleeping on the union's premises on 61st Street and 32nd Avenue in Woodside since Tuesday for a chance at a job with decent pay and benefits.

"This is a career worthy of a wait. You have to bust your hump, but it's worth it," said Andrew Vilbig, who has slept at the union property since Thursday.

"I'm a veteran trying to get a job just like the next man," James Pinchback III said. Pinchback's cousin and aunt work for the union.

One neighbor, who wished to stay anonymous, said the mass has left a lot a trash on the street and "they were drinking in public; it wasn't orange juice," he said.

"It can get a little rowdy, but that's what happens, " said Joe Pichristina, an ironworker who had slept at Local 46 since Wednesday. "But people were respectful. It would be stupid to mess this opportunity up."

"They don't drink here. They are here to get a job," said a police officer, one of several on the scene. 

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