Scardsdale, NY – As the Sept. 30th deadline for a new multi-year contract approaches, hundreds of 32BJ members, elected officials, and community members marched for a fair contract for the 1,400 doormen and women, superintendents, handypersons, and porters who work in hundreds of buildings in the Hudson Valley.
“A contract that fairly addresses the needs of workers is in everyone’s best interests,” said 32BJ SEIU President Hector Figueroa. “Building owners, managers and residents all benefit from a professional, skilled and stable workforce that has demonstrated its reliability and loyalty over the years.”
The residential building workers who keep 500 Hudson Valley homes well-maintained, clean and safe are fighting to keep up with the cost of living in counties like Westchester, which is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.
“Hudson Valley residential building workers keep our apartment, co-op and ultra-luxury buildings well-maintained, clean and safe for hundreds of families across the Hudson Valley and they deserve a fair wage increase that allows them to keep up with the cost of living,” said Vice President John Santos.
Major issues include wage increases to keep up with the rising cost of living, maintaining affordable family health care and ensuring adequate funds for training and retirement.
“I have served the residents of Scarsdale for 36 years, and I want to be able to retire with dignity,” said Joe Rodriguez, a super in Garth Road, Scarsdale.
Negotiations for a new contract began on July 30 between the BRI, a construction, development and real-estate-related industry and 32BJ SEIU. The union’s bargaining committee is comprised of elected leaders of 32BJ including many rank and file members, who have been chosen to represent all 1,400 residential members. Members authorized this committee to agree to a deal for the membership to ratify or to strike if a fair deal cannot be reached. The next bargaining session is September 29.
Marchers were joined by local elected officials who stood in solidarity with workers.
“Our building service men and women in the Hudson Valley are the backbone of hundreds of families. They deserve a fair contract that enables them to live and work in the Hudson Valley,” said New York State Assembly member Amy Paulin.
“Residential building workers need a wage increase that allows them to provide for their families and keep up with the cost of living. I urge management to work with the building workers to provide working families with the wages and benefits they deserve,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.
32BJ was also joined by other elected officials including White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach,Assembly members David Buchwald, Shelly Mayer, and Ken Zebrowski; State Senators David Carlucci and George Latimer; Westchester City Councilwoman Catherine Borgia and Yonkers City Councilman Christopher Johnson.
With more than 145,000 members, 32BJ is the largest property service workers union in the country.