Strike averted for New York City doormen after tentative deal reached

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A tentative deal was reached Tuesday to avert a potential New York City doorman strike one day ahead of the deadline.

The union, 32BJ SEIU building workers, and the Realty Advisory Board announced they have reached a tentative agreement before the expiration of the current contract, averting what would have been the first strike of residential building service workers in New York City since the 12 day strike of 1991.

The deal must be ratified by 32BJ SEIU membership, but the tentative agreement ensures workers will be at their worksites as usual on April 21.

In the contract, 32BJ SEIU, representing 32,000 residential building workers, reaches agreement on the following issues:
--The highest raises in 32BJ SEIU history, with almost 12.6% wage increases over four years
--A $3,000 bonus for essential workers
--Ensuring no premium share and maintenance of 100% employer-paid healthcare
--Protecting paid sick leave and paid vacation

"We have a deal," union President Kyle Bragg said. "We got a deal done that protects healthcare, with no premium sharing. We got a deal done that protects paid time off. We got a deal done that provides the economic security our members need in a time of rising inflation. We got a deal done that our members have earned and deserved. This contract honors the indispensable contributions that 32BJ members made throughout the pandemic and includes pay bonuses - a powerful recognition of our members' sacrifice."


The tentative agreement protects pension and health care benefits while also providing a historic wage increase that keeps members ahead of inflation and the rising cost of living.

The economic security provided in the tentative contract will ensure that New York's doorpersons, superintendents, resident managers, handypersons, concierges and porters will be able to continue supporting 1.5 million residents of our city while also providing for themselves and their families.

"The industry is proud to have reached a fair agreement that will continue to create and support middle class jobs for more than 30,000 workers over the next four years," Realty Advisory Board President Howard Rothschild said. "The agreement builds on the important work RAB and 32BJ accomplished together throughout the pandemic - protecting jobs and maintaining solid health benefits - and further shows the industry's respect and appreciation for our essential workers with a substantial bonus. We would like to thank all residential building service workers for their tireless dedication and commitment during a tremendously challenging period."

This contract, upon ratification by 32BJ SEIU members, would cover over 32,000 porters, doorpersons, superintendents, concierges and handypersons in over 3,000 buildings throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island, serving 555,000 apartments and their 1.5 million residents.

More than 30,000 building workers and doormen at more than 3,000 luxury buildings authorized a strike last week, with the major points of contention covering paid vacation and sick time as well as proposals for workers to contribute toward their health insurance, currently paid for entirely by building and apartment owners.

"We're not asking for a ton of money or anything," handyman Stephen Yearwood said. "We're just asking, hey, recognize us, because we are now essential workers, frontliners."

The strike would have impacted more than 550,000 building residents, disrupting their package and mail deliveries.

"We were there to maintain the buildings and clean," doorman/concierge Felix Figueroa said. "That's what we did for two years while the city was on lockdown."

These workers are so much a part of tenants' lives that they consider the buildings where they work second homes.

"I seen when they had children, when they grow and went to college and got married," Figueroa said.

ALSO READ | How local mass transit agencies are responding over mask mandate ruling
EMBED More News Videos

Bill Ritter talks to Dr. Jay Varma about the Florida judge who overturned the CDC's federal mask mandate for public transit. "This is a real challenge," Varma said.



----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.