Doormen and other employees at 520 West 23rd Street are planning to walk off the job on Halloween, citing pressure from the condominium board to keep workers from joining the doorman and building maintenance workers’ union, 32BJ SEIU.
The employees, along with those of five other buildings in the area, say the condominium boards at the buildings they work for have tried to halt their attempts to join the labor union and have resorted to “intimidation attempts.” Employees at 520 West 23rd make $13 per hour, while unionized workers across the street pull in upwards of $21 per hour, they claim. The workers are joined by dissatisfied doormen from 460 West 20th Street, 540 West 28th Street, 245 Tenth Avenue, 200 Eleventh Avenue and 231 Tenth Avenue.
The buildings count actress Nicole Kidman and rock star Mick Jagger among their residents, Capital New York said.
Unionizing would lift worker salaries by as approximately four percent, according to a letter seen by Capital New York.
In attempt to block such efforts, the building has reportedly begun to replace current staff, the workers allege.
“It’s outrageous that people working in luxury buildings where apartments go for millions of dollars barely make enough to keep their families out of poverty,” Kyle Bragg, secretary-treasurer of 32BJ SEIU, said in a statement to to the website. “If you can afford $22,000 a month in rent, you can afford to pay your doormen a decent wage.” [Capital New York] — Julie Strickland