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NYC Building Service Workers Reach Tentative Labor Deal To Avoid Strike

Building service workers march down Fifth Avenue ahead of vote to authorize strike (Credit: CBS 2)

Building service workers march down Fifth Avenue ahead of vote to authorize strike (Credit: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The union representing doormen and other New York City building workers has reached a tentative contract agreement with property owners, avoiding a possible strike.

The deal announced Friday by Local 32BJ of the Service Employees Union and the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations will provide raises of 11.3 percent over four years.

The realty board said total wages for a typical doorman or porter will rise from $44,389 to $49,402 by the end of the contract.

The contract maintains current pension and health care benefits.

The contract covers 30,000 doormen, porters, superintendents and handymen in 3,300 apartment buildings across New York City.

Thousands of building service workers rallied and marched on Fifth Avenue and 79th Street last week, calling for a raise that allows them to keep up with the cost of living in New York, 1010 WINS previously reported.

“Rents are going up in record numbers,” union president Hector Figueroa told WCBS 880′s Alex Silverman last week. “Our members are struggling to make ends meet.”

The march and rally were held ahead of a strike authorization vote. The vote, largely a formality, would have given the union the ability to strike if contract talks had broken down.

Now, union members have a different vote ahead of them. The contract will go into effect only if it is ratified by union members. Votes will be tallied in early May.

The union’s current contract expires on April 20.

The last citywide doorman strike was in 1991.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)