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No strikes or bawls! Doormen are back on the job with new contract - Brooklyn Paper

No strikes or bawls! Doormen are back on the job with new contract

John Felton was one of hundreds of residential apartment employees who called for a strike when his and thousands of other workers’ contracts expire on April 20.
Community Newspaper Group / Stefano Giovannini

A 13th-hour deal between high-rise building employees and owners had doormen and porters at work as normal this morning.

The strike deadline to “doormegedon” came and went early this morning, but union officials representing borough doormen, porters and maintenance workers hashed out a deal with landlords that apparently preserved everything they had and then some.

In an email sent out at 1:04 am, Matt Nerzig, a spokesman for the 32BJ Services Employees International said a new contract was drafted shortly after midnight with a “nearly 10 percent raise over the next four years.”

Members will also retain their cherished employer funded healthcare and not have to give up vacation days, sick days or other benefits, he said.

Since mid-March, union leaders have been feuding with building owners who claimed they could no longer afford employee amenities such as overtime, health care, pensions and sick pay.

Recent dips in residential property values and increased taxes have hit city landlords pretty hard, according to the Realty Advisory Board, which negotiated on behalf of the building owners.

On March 31, Brooklyn union members voted to strike at midnight on April 21 when the current contract, where doormen and maintenance staff receive upwards of $60,000 a year in salary and benefits, expired.

If a new contract had not been drafted, 2,000 union members in 255 apartment buildings in Brooklyn would have stopped what they were doing this morning and begin picketing outside their respected buildings.

Building residents were expected to picket right alongside them, some surmised.

“The tenants need us,” Renee Rodriguez, a maintenance man for the apartment towers on 65th Street between Third and Fourth avenues in Bay Ridge explained when the strike vote was called. “When I talk to them, they can’t believe that something like this is happening to us.”

There was no word from the Realty Advisory Board as the door closed on our cheerful online deadline.

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