Ten Capitol Hill steamfitters who say they were harassed by their bosses after complaining of asbestos exposure in the tunnels where they work are being awarded for civic courage.

Recognition for the Tunnel Shop crew comes amid a continuing dispute with the Architect of the Capitol’s office over their medical treatment and a pending case before the congressional Office of Compliance alleging they faced retaliation after making their safety concerns public.

On Thursday they are to receive the Joe A. Callaway Award for Civic Courage, established in 1990 for people who take a public stance to advance truth at personal risk. It is administered by the Shafeek Nader Trust for the Community Interest. Shafeek Nader, who died in 1986, was the elder brother of consumer advocate Ralph Nader.

The workers went public with their complaints after the Office of Compliance, which oversees the civil rights and employment laws affecting congressional workers, last February cited the architect’s office for not taking steps to remove safety hazards to workers in the tunnels under the Capitol.

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