Streams

Labor Deal for Doormen

Friday, April 16, 2010

Doormen, porters and other apartment workers say they're prepared to go on strike if they don't get new contracts by next week.  Local 32BJ president Mike Fishman talks about the negotiations between the union and building owners -- and if we should expect that strike.

Guests:

Mike Fishman

Comments [16]

Tonero Williams from Park Slope, Brooklyn

Thank you Brian for hitting the ball back, on why there is a low hire of Black Doormen. We all know why, and your guest alluded to it.

Apr. 16 2010 11:11 AM
Jay from Manhattan

Brian, I ashamed at how dense you sometimes appear. I know that you know that you can't just ask about "diversity. You missed the commentor's whole point--racial, ethnic, and gender diversity has to be within job categories. The commenter said there was no diversity in the doorman, i.e., the "classier, high profile" jobs.

Apr. 16 2010 11:01 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

It's much more than opening a door or receiving packages (assuming UPS and FedEX cross their picket lines). There is the matter of garbage and emergency repairs. And I believe this also applies to security. So when the building workers go on strike, everyone will have to hope nothing goes wrong, take out their own garbage and recycling, and be careful who is buzzed in.

Apr. 16 2010 10:59 AM
Rebecca from NYC

Is Mr. Fishman the son of Ira Fishman who used to run BJ? Why the nepotism? Family business?

Apr. 16 2010 10:59 AM
mike from manhattan

with whom is 32bj negotiating? I own a condo - (but oddly (BPC) we don't own the land) - and the owners association owns the bldg - right? So - as far as I know - no one on our board would not support maintaining the terms of the 4yr old contract - we don't want to take away anything. So - do we negotiate w/ 32BJ? Make a deal no matter what other buildings do? We are being given instructions on how to deal w/ the strike - but as far as I know we all (or a majority of us) are happy that people with whom we live and who work hard in the bldg have health care etc - I'd give many of them a raise - but @ Christmas those guys get their incentive bonus. Anyway - how's this process work - with so many bldg. owners.
(btw) - I've been out of work for more than a year and unless that changes - definitely will not be living in this bldg. nxt year.)

Apr. 16 2010 10:57 AM
Anon from NYC

To the poster who stated "these are low-skilled jobs"...well, if so low-skilled, then I encourage you to grab a wrench and fix your own plumbing, grab a tool box and balance your own HVAC and then take out your own stinking garbage in August. This comment probably came from white collar worker who endlessly pushes paper for his/her handsome living. Full disclosure, I work for 32BJ in the benefits department, the other day I spoke to a woman who had a 600K (AFTER the insurance had paid) medical bill, believe me, the medical plan is hardly a cadillac plan. She is ruined.

Apr. 16 2010 10:57 AM
Anon from NYC

To the poster who stated "these are low-skilled jobs"...well, if so low-skilled, then I encourage you to grab a wrench and fix your own plumbing, grab a tool box and balance your own HVAC and then take out your own stinking garbage in August. This comment probably came from white collar worker who endlessly pushes paper for his/her handsome living. Full disclosure, I work for 32BJ in the benefits department, the other day I spoke to a woman who had a 600K (AFTER the insurance had paid) medical bill, believe me, the medical plan is hardly a cadillac plan. She is ruined.

Apr. 16 2010 10:56 AM
Peter from Brooklyn

Regarding the possible service worker strike, cooperative buildings are not profit centers. People who live in those buildings are suffering from the same economic issues at this time. How does the union explain the need for further wage, etc. increases when social security payments, etc. have not increased because cost of living indices have not risen?

Apr. 16 2010 10:56 AM
S Block

You can't discuss the numbers with respect to the diversity issue without separating the porter/janitor jobs from the doorman/concierge jobs.

You will see distinctions between the "front lobby" and the "back room" roles.

Apr. 16 2010 10:56 AM
Henry Ford

stop calling this an "industry."

Apr. 16 2010 10:55 AM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

Why is everyone is so eager to tell other people how much they should earn or that they should reduce their benefits. From teachers to building workers. Wages translate into purchasing capacity and higher standard of living. If we want our economy to thrive people need to earn enough money to live on.

Apr. 16 2010 10:53 AM
Barry from Montclair

In these times ALL unions should be negotiating a give back to keep all of the workers on the job. The city needs to tighten its belt and that means everyone needs to pitch in.

Apr. 16 2010 10:51 AM
Horatio from Harlem

What your guest fails to realize is the people who pay these wages and the tenants, many of whom are suffering with loss of incomes, jobs, etc. getting pummeled by yearly double digit property tax and fee increases. I think if the union fails to get a grip on reality there will be increasingly less doorman buildings - particularly given technology.

Apr. 16 2010 10:49 AM
steve smith from Manhattan

Last time 32BJ went on strike, then won a $4 a week raise, which is 10 cents per hour. If they earn $100 per day currently, it would take 1000 hours to make back that $100 lost PER DAY. So the longer they're on strike, the more hours they need to work to make it up.

Last time, the union leaders also imposed a union fee increase which took away most of the increase, but helped the leadership. So the membership loses, the condo. coops and commercial buildings lose but the union leadership wins!

Where's the fairness in this??

Apr. 16 2010 10:25 AM

i know how to open a door so i don't care.

what century are we in by the way?

Apr. 16 2010 10:10 AM
Landless from Brooklyn

I would be surprised by a strike. There is a new service that relies upon pools of telephone operators to manage building doors. A strike would be a good time for a building to switch to that service. The city has a high un-employment rate and many young people would accept that job with lower benefits. The job is low skilled with excellent benefits. The financial industry that funded that pay has not recovered. Auto workers who actually produced something have accepted two tier and reduced benefits. Even city workers have to pay toward their health benefits and have accepted a new pension tier.

Apr. 16 2010 08:40 AM

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