My name is Scott Cohen and I work at 850 Park Avenue. I’ve been a doorman for 20 years. Four years ago I went to the Residential Contract Rally and it was unbelievable. The number of people on the street was inspiring. There were so many of us there, it helped us show the Real Estate Advisory Board that we were serious and in solidarity with one another.
5,000 people filling Park Avenue made the difference in getting a strong contract four years ago. And it felt like a block party! You felt the love from your fellow workers. There were politicians supporting us and showing strength as one – that was really an electrifying moment for the union. We definitely got our point across that day.
We got what we wanted in the contract and if we stand together again this year, we will be better for it. We cannot afford to take any steps back. I think members would agree that we need a raise — a fair wage increase.
It’s very, very difficult to raise a family in New York City. We want to live here. We want to stay here and keep a household for our family. I’ve done it my whole life but it’s getting harder to not move. When things like the price of milk keep skyrocketing, we need a fair wage increase to maintain our home here. Most of the guys at my building have to work two jobs to make ends meet. As we get older, that becomes harder to do.
I have never loved anything more than working as a doorman. The best thing about the job is the residents. We take care of each other. I think most residents are on our side and want us to have a fair wage. We build bonds with these people and they feel like they are family.
I remember marching at the rally four years ago, watching everyone together and it felt like we were one. It was such a powerful message. The whole city saw how united we were. I’d like all 32BJ members to come out to the rally so we can show a united front and get a fair contract.