New York, NY—The residential workers at the luxury Printing House at 421 Hudson Street in the West Village are on strike. They are striking over the firing of one of the leaders of their organizing campaign and threats to other workers who are fighting for better jobs.
Doorman Arturo Vergara, who’s worked at the building for over 15 years, was fired recently after leading the effort with his coworkers to have 32BJ as their union.
“I was fired because I stood up for myself and my coworkers to organize and bring the union into the building,” Vergara said. It’s unfair and I’m grateful to have my coworkers here supporting me.”
His eight coworkers are out on strike in solidarity with him and also over the threats they have received from Planned Companies, which is contracted to employ the building’s workers.
“My job has been threatened a lot. Everybody’s job is threatened,” said doorman Wendell Campbell who is out on strike with all his coworkers. “Planned Companies is not treating us right at all.”
Supportive residents are standing with the striking workers. More than half the residents in the building have signed a petition in support of fired worker Arturo Vergara and his colleagues and one resident hung a banner from his window overlooking Hudson Street that reads, “Bring Arturo back.”
“Arturo epitomizes the best in somebody you would want to work with or work for you,” said unit owner Frank Nervo. “For 16 years Arturo has always been reliable and professional.”
The workers have filed Unfair Labor Practices over Planned Companies’ threats and the firing. They say they are ready to keep fighting until they get the respect they deserve.
The striking workers will be on the picket line again on Thursday.
With more than 145,000 members, including 70,000 in New York City, 32BJ is the largest property service workers union in the country.
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