Threatening a strike wins it

April 30, 2022

FROM THE MAY-JUNE  2022 ISSUE OF NEWS & LETTERS

Porters, doorpersons, superintendents, concierges and handypersons in more than 3,000 New York City high rise buildings were able to avoid a cutback in benefits by insisting they would rather go on strike. “We’re not asking for a ton of money or anything. We’re just asking, hey, recognize us, because we are now essential workers, frontliners,” said Stephen Yearwood to ABC News.

The strike scheduled to begin at midnight on April 21 would have meant security desks going unstaffed and potential building maintenance problems going unrepaired. Workers rejected a proposal by management to claw back vacation and sick days while instituting an employee contribution to group health insurance premiums. All of this new language was later dropped in a negotiated contract hurriedly trotted out on April 19.

–Buddy Bell

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