Rallying for the union in Jay St.

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Disgruntled non-union doormen, porters and maintenance workers took to the street in front of their DUMBO condo building to complain that they’re being cheated out of money and benefits by the company that runs the 33-story, all-luxury tower.

But the president of the management company fired back this week, saying that his workers are paid the same — if not more — than union workers.

“My employees make the same wages, or better, than union workers,” said William Clark, the president of Lisa Management, which runs the J Condo tower at 100 Jay St. in DUMBO.

“We also provide full health and dental benefits to all of our employees and their families. It’s the same health care package I have and no one who works for me has to reach in their pocket to pay the insurance premiums. We pay for the whole thing.”

To publicly disagree with Clark’s rosy assessment, J Condo workers rallied for the second time in as many weeks on Wednesday to demand a better health care plan, a pension and retirement savings program and higher wages from Lisa Management.

“No one takes this personal,” said one worker at the rally. “We know it’s just business, but we want the best for our families.”

The workers are being backed by Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, the largest building worker’s union in the country.

“Most building service workers receive standard wages of $20 hour, employer-paid health care, pension and 401(k),” said Matt Nerzig, a spokesman for Local 32BJ. “Any building service workers, particularly those in upscale DUMBO, deserve pay and benefits on par with the rest of the city.

“There is no good reason why these workers should ­make as much as $5 an hour less than union workers doing the same job around the corner.”

One of the building’s 16 workers spoke to The Brooklyn Paper on the condition of anonymity to protect his job. The worker, who has more than 10 years experience, said his past employers in the neighborhood paid him higher wages, gave him and his family health insurance and provided a pension plan and savings program.

Workers at the J Condo have to pay part of their insurance premiums out of pocket if they sign up for the company health plan, he added.

But Clark said the involvement of the national service workers union was a red herring.

“I’m a fan of what the labor movement has done for this country, and none of my employees should fear that they’re going to lose their jobs because they want to be a part of any union,” he said. “But if 32BJ wants to come and take $60 out of the pockets of my workers every month, then they better be giving them something that I already don’t give them.”

Most of the condo workers in DUMBO are unionized, including those in buildings owned by Two Trees Management, the neighborhood’s main development company.

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Reader Feedback

Luna from 10 Rutgers St. says:
William Clark fired a super at 10 rutgers st building his name is Ronald Daoust. Ronald was fired because he was sick and gathering people to join 32BJ. Ronald had to pay out of pocket medical leaving him without medicine many times. William Clark also harrassed Mr Daoust when he was about to gather people to join 32BJ and then he fired him and evicted Mr Daoust. Mr Daoust had asked for accomadations due to being injured at work but was refused instead he was fired from his job. Ronald Daoust is still fighting for Workers Comp Benefits and Medical Benefits. It seems that the Union that 10 Rutgers St was part of was not of their choosing. I find it strange that a so called Union can just walk in a building uninvited by the workers! Ronald Daoust told the uninvited Union to leave the building because the workers were picking 32BJ to represent them but Clark refused to allow 32BJ to represnt the workers.
Jan. 12, 2009, 11:45 am

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