Labor relations board intervenes in ongoing lockout at Brooklyn buildings

Jan.January 25, 2012 06:00 PM

The National Labor Relations Board has filed for a federal injunction to end an ongoing lockout at a 59-building apartment complex in Flatbush, Crain’s reported, where 70 handymen and porters have been locked out of their jobs since 2010 following a dispute over wages and benefits.

The lockout at Flatbush Gardens began in 2010, Crain’s said, when Renaissance Equity Holdings, the owner of the complex, declined to negotiate with Union 32BJ SEIU, which represented the workers. The handymen were refusing to accept a 30 percent cut in wages proposed by Renaissance, and a reduction in benefits including the loss of their health insurance. The Brooklyn complex is located at 1403 New York Avenue.

“By taking this step, the NLRB is affirming our long-held view that the Flatbush Gardens lockout of workers is unlawful,” said Mike Fishman, president of 32BJ SEIU. “Their illegal lockout has wreaked havoc on these workers’ lives.”

Renaissance’s attorney Robert Wolf said the National Labor Relations Board had no basis to seek the injunction.

“There is no credible basis for the NLRB to obtain any injunction, and the evidence will demonstrate that the motion should be denied,” he said. “It is surprising that after the passage of so much time, due to their own delays, the NLRB is now seeking an injunction, even though they have not won anything or shown any entitlement to the relief they are seeking.” [Crain’s]

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