Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strike Vote Moves Bronx Apartment Building Workers One Step Closer to a Work Stoppage

Here is a press release sent by Local 32BJ about the pending strike by Bronx building workers. Will it come down to the building workers paying for the housing mess created by others? Are the workers making between $15 and $17 an hour, the ones who should be stripped of benefits? Are the building owners at a crucial tipping point that somehow needs to be addressed? How will rents and maintenance fees be affected? This is a serious issue that needs to be examined and resolved. If not, over 3,000 Bronx apartment building workers and over 1,000 residential buildings in our borough alone will be affected by this potential strike.


Strike Vote Moves Bronx Apartment Building Workers One Step Closer to a Work Stoppage
– Strike of up to 3,000 Workers Could Directly Affect Nearly a Quarter of a Million New Yorkers –
--Vote Comes Days After Workers Reject Management’s Unfair Contract Proposal—
New York, NY— As their contract’s expiration approaches, Bronx building workers voted Wednesday to authorize a strike, if necessary, to protect good jobs throughout the borough. Failure to reach a new contract agreement by the March 15th deadline could lead to a strike of more than 3,000 Bronx apartment building workers at over 1,000 residential buildings.
“Undercutting the livelihoods of building workers not only hurts their families and our communities but could deny hundreds of thousands of tenants the services they depend on,” said Kyle Bragg, Vice President of 32BJ. “This strike vote shows we’re determined to keep the Bronx a place that working families can still afford to call home.”
Tonight’s vote came one week after workers rejected an unfair contract proposal by the Bronx Realty Advisory Board (BRAB), a real estate industry association representing Bronx building owners. The BRAB is seeking to strip away much needed benefits from these hard working men and women.
Contract negotiations between 32BJ SEIU and BRAB have been underway since February 8th, and several issues, including family health care and retirement savings, remain outstanding. The contract covers building superintendents, janitors, handypersons, porters, firepersons, doormen, elevator operators and garbage handlers.
“Nobody wants a strike, but we’re committed to do what it takes to get workers what they need,” said Bragg, “Working families need wages that keep pace with the city’s high cost of living.”
Workers are looking to maintain their benefits as well as moderate, cost of living wage increases. Under the current contract, the average Bronx apartment building workers’ wages range from $15.53/hr in the South Bronx to $17.07/hr in Riverdale, and they receive employer-paid family health care, pension and training in addition to vacation and sick leave.
“I voted yes for my family and for the families of all working people,” said Darryl Mosley, a Bronx doorman and father of two. “I feel like we’re being pushed out of the city with the rising cost of rents, mortgages, groceries, the subway, gas, you name it.”
Failure to reach an agreement, before the March 15th expiration, could lead to a strike directly affecting nearly 250,000 New Yorkers living in over 1,000 apartment, condo and co-op buildings in the Bronx.
With more than 70,000 members in New York, 32BJ is the largest private sector union in the state. For more information, visit
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