80,000 New York City Workers To Return To Offices Monday

While the mayor insists it's safe, some remain unconvinced. CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reports.

Video Transcript

- It is the last weekend before many New York City employees head back to the office.

- While the mayor insists it's safe to return, some are not convinced. CBS 2's Jenna DeAngelis has more.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Seeing people out walking, biking, and dining are welcome signs the city is coming back. And with that, Mayor de Blasio wants to welcome city workers back to the office.

BILL DE BLASIO: 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.

JENNA DEANGELIS: He believes people are more productive in the workplace. So on Monday, 80,000 more city workers are expected to return.

JEREMIAH CEDENO: It's not safe. It's not equitable. It's not healthy.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Jeremiah Cedeno is with City Workers for Justice, a grassroots organization created in the pandemic, which has been pushing back on this plan since it was announced in January.

JEREMIAH CEDENO: All of our channels began to get flooded with messages, city workers sending concerns, complaints.

JENNA DEANGELIS: He says concerns include child care for city workers, the impact on public transit, and safety conditions of offices.

JEREMIAH CEDENO: 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.

JENNA DEANGELIS: The city has spent over $200 million to prepare office buildings for workers' return. Mayor de Blasio pointed to success in schools and robust testing, saying the same methodologies will be applied in the office.

BILL DE BLASIO: Folks are going to be in for 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.

JEREMIAH CEDENO: We all want to see the city reopened, but we want it done in a way that is safe.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Hundreds of current and former city staff members are expected to rally here outside City Hall Saturday afternoon in attempt to get the mayor to push the return date to September. In Lower Manhattan, Jenna DeAngelis, CBS 2 News.

- The mayor believes this move will help boost the local economy and that will be important as an indicator for the private sector. This falls in line with his goal for the city to fully reopen in July.