The Real Deal New York

Doormen at luxury Chelsea building plan Halloween strike

October 29, 2013 06:13PM

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520 West 23rd Street

520 West 23rd Street

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

  • http://www.ianmacallen.com/ Ian MacAllen

    Unions: the difference between poverty and middle-class.

  • PM

    Unfortunately, the facts are distorted in this message. Doormen at 520 West 23rd St make more than $13 per hour, upwards of $18 per hour. And they received two bonsues last year, aside from their holiday bonuses from residents. The workers have acted inapproriately in persuing this versus have a legitimate, honest conversation with the Board.

  • sammy betoche

    the whole concept of earning money no longer exists. it doesn’t make a difference what others make… why should a doorman get paid the same wage as the building manager?

  • N932

    automatic doors….problem solved

    • yolo

      haha, agreed.

    • cybergrace

      (1) When the clubs empty and drunk, vomiting crazies come in the lobby and trash it, uh… you’ll be where?
      (2) When the flood waters pass into the building you will say “f%ck the lobby, it is an evacuation zone anyways” and be where?
      (3) When another child in the building runs away from you in the lobby and squeals in delight and hugs the doorman you’ll feel “Happy for the child” or “Hateful that people don’t like you”?

  • SMH

    Unions, the demise of America.

  • Concerned New Yorker

    SHAMEFUL……….!
    I guess it’s acceptable for The Real Deal management to allow the reporting of blatantly untrue facts?

    Fact: ALL Doormen and staff at 520 West 23rd St make between $18-$22 an hour, receive competitive healthcare and a retirement plan!

    You may want to re-think the lies printed here in your article………….

    • LeighKampingCarder

      Hi Concerned New Yorker, thanks for the comment. As I mentioned above, like many other blogs,TheRealDeal.com frequently recaps stories from other news outlets. If there is an error we’ve introduced, we’re happy to correct it. But in this case, the information comes from the original story, so I’d suggest you get in touch with that publication. Thanks, Leigh.

    • cybergrace

      As an actual tenant I can verify that the building worker’s request to unionize is: (1) unanimous, (2) very peaceful, and (3) based on terrible healthcare benefits and unfair treatment by management.

      They only have ONE day of hospitalization covered, and then, only up to $4,700!! $4,700 gets you only an hour or two of time in most NYC hospitals. Why should building workers go into heavy debt if they tear a ligament, pass out, get bad food poisoning, or any dozens of things that require the average New Yorker an overnight hospital stay? Additionally, the health insurance requires $50 co-pays and $50 prescriptions. Folks with chronic but easily manageable conditions like diabetes cannot afford regular care. Management would never let their wives or children be on such a lousy plan, so why such wonderful, long-time workers?

      Building tenants overwhelmingly support unionization and are overwhelmingly disgusted with our board chair. But, we won’t name names…

  • Dawn K.

    Apparently Julie Strickland isn’t concerned with truth, reputation or journalistic ethics!

    • LeighKampingCarder

      Hi Dawn K., thanks for the comment. Like many other blogs, TheRealDeal.com frequently recaps stories from other news outlets. If there is an error we’ve introduced, we’re happy to correct it if you let us know what it is. If the problem is with the original story, I’d suggest you get in touch with the publication itself. Thanks, Leigh.

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