WTC DIGGERS SLAM PLANS FOR CEREMONY
By WILLIAM NEUMAN and MAGGIE HABERMAN

May 24, 2002 -- Workers at Ground Zero are up in arms over plans to keep them
out of the site during the ceremony marking the end of recovery work, sources
said yesterday.

The recovery workers, who've been searching for remains and removing debris
around the clock since the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack, had originally
proposed a "last march" out of the site, with all the workers escorting the
30-foot- tall steel beam from the south tower.

Instead, the workers have been told they have to clear out of the site, and
stand on West Street to watch the tribute next Thursday morning, said sources
familiar with the plans.

City officials have "completely taken it away from us," said one source. "And
we don't even get to be part of it, and we created this idea, [that] we march
out of the hole. A lot of labor unions are upset."

Mayor Bloomberg's spokesman, Ed Skyler, declined comment.

The workers will be part of a separate, bagpipe ceremony on Tuesday night,
when the last beam remaining at the site is cut down, put on a flatbed truck
and draped in black.

But on Thursday, there will be only a small color guard representing city
agencies escorting the beam, the source said.

"The whole concept got ruined," said the source, adding some workers might not
attend.




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