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WPCNR LABOR FRONT. From the Service Employees International Union. 32BJ September 26, 2018:

Hundreds of SEIU workers voted earlier this month to authorize a strike, beginning Monday at 500 residential buildings throughout the Hudson Valley,  if the contract expires without a tentative agreement.

Today at 5:00 PM., hundreds of superintendents, porters, handy people, elevator operators and other residential buildings workers from across the Hudson Valley will gather in Scarsdale to rally for a fair new contract by the end of the week. The contract is an agreement between the workers’ union, 32BJ SEIU, and the employers and building owners that provides for fair wages, benefits, and basic rights on the job.

The current contract between 32BJ and the Building and Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region Inc. (BRI) will expire at midnight on September 30. Hundreds of workers voted earlier this month to authorize a strike if the contract expires without a tentative agreement.

“We work 24/7 to ensure the safety, comfort and well-being of 100,000 tenants, co-op shareholders and other building residents across Westchester and surrounding counties,” said John Ryan, a member of 32BJ for over 30 years. “As a member of the bargaining committee — and as a dedicated superintendent who singlehandedly oversees a complex with eight buildings and 88 units — I know full well that the owners and property managers need to maintain current staffing levels for the best service. Reductions would hurt a huge percentage of the residents we care for. Already, two-thirds of the properties we oversee have only one or two workers at the site. The BRI needs to recognize the vital importance of a contract that protects these staffing levels, and that provides a sensible cost-of-living increase in our wages.”

Workers will gather at 5:00 PM at the church parking at 5 Strathmore Road then march to an area behind the baseball field at Garth Road Park for a rally that will include support from State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Assemblyman David Buchwald, and other elected officials, as well as from labor and community allies. The gathering will then march up Garth Road, carrying signs and banners demonstrating the workers’ determination to win a contract that will continue to build better lives in the Hudson Valley.

If a strike takes place on Monday, October 1, it would be the first strike in more than 30 years for the 1,400 residential building workers at 500 apartment buildings, co-ops and condominiums across the region.

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