Dozens of 32BJ member leaders and activists kicked-off Hudson Valley’s Residential Contract Campaign Ready to Fight, Ready to Win on May 3 at Pace University in White Plains, New York.
The contract which expires on September 30th covers more than 1,400 doormen and women members including superintendents, handypersons, concierges and porters working at apartment buildings in Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland, Orange, Sullivan, and Westchester counties in New York State.
Members were greeted by 32BJ President Hector Figueroa, Executive Vice President Larry Engelstein, and Vice President and District Director in Hudson Valley John Santos.
“We are here to support you in your fight to winning a good and fair contract that allows you to provide for yourselves, your families and contribute to the economic strength of your communities,” said Mr. Figueroa.
“We have to show the employers that we are ready to fight and ready to win,” said Mr. Santos.
The residential workers want a raise that keeps up with the cost of living. They also want to maintain health care coverage and secure retirement benefits.
“Part of the problem we face is the cost of inflation,” said Abel Rodriguez, a 32BJ member and superintendent for 20 years in Larchmont, NY. “We are struggling to put food on the table and provide for our families,” he added.
“Our benefits allowed me to take care of my wife when she was diagnosed with bone cancer,” said Eric Thompson, a handyperson from Bronxville, NY. Mr. Thompson’s wife catastrophic disease added up to more than $100,000 in medical bills which were covered by the union’s benefits package. “Our benefits are priceless,” he added.
“Education is expensive in this country and I plan put both of my kids through college which on a single income is daunting,” said Robb Archigian, a 32BJ member and superintendent in Bronxville, NY.
The union will fight for a strong settlement with no givebacks and a fair wage increase that keeps up with the rising cost of living.