NEW YORK– Fifty-five New York City elected officials have signed an open letter to developer Charles Dayan, new owner of the Hamilton at 1735 York Avenue, calling on him to restore the middle class jobs at the building where workers have had their jobs for decades.
Since Charles Dayan’s Bonjour Capital took over the Hamilton in May and brought in new management and contractors, workers at the building have seen their pay cut from at least $24 an hour to as little as $12 an hour and have lost most of their benefits. The workers have launched a campaign to get back the good jobs that they need to support their families but their employers are silencing them from talking about their hardships and even their support for their union.
When the workers spoke up about how the new owner’s greed has hurt their families, building management told them to keep quiet and prohibited them from displaying support for their long-time union with 32BJ pins. Fed up, the workers filed an Unfair Labor Practice with the National Labor Relations Board and went on strike in protest. They have since returned to work but their jobs remain low-paying poverty jobs.
In support of the workers’ campaign to have Dayan—who owns an extensive New York City real estate portfolio worth hundreds of millions of dollars—the Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens Borough Presidents along with City Council members and State Senators and Assembly members are urging Dayan and his company to restore the good jobs at the building.
The workers’ union, 32BJ SEIU, has published a copy of the letter in this week’s Commercial Observer. You can see the ad here.
The Hamilton is a luxury building where apartments rent for more than $7000 a month, but under the new owner and management workers are being paid poverty wages. We should not have a city where luxury apartment building owners employ workers who are paid so little they struggle to support their families.
“The tenants here are like family to me,” said Hamilton doorman Hang Ley. “But we have our own families we need to take care of too.”
With 155,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 70,000 in New York City, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.