Stephen Nessen, Reporter, WNYC News
Stephen Nessen reports for the WNYC Newsroom and can often be heard live on Morning Edition.
Across New York City, small groups of pro-union activists, supporting various causes, are holding flash demonstrations. What they have in common is a belief that the pro-labor momentum that began with Bill de Blasio’s election will lead to higher wages for workers and a union-friendly administration.
Customers sipping coffee and reading the paper at the Grand Café, outside of Grand Central Terminal had their quiet morning smashed by a dozen protesters and the Rude Mechanical Orchestra marching band. They claimed four workers were unfairly fired for organizing.
Over at the High Line, where condos can sell for millions of dollars, another labor group that represents building workers, unfurled a banner that read: "High Line Living, Low Wage Workers," in front of a building they say pays its workers a starting wage of $13.37 an hour.
And on the Upper East side, protesters inflated a nearly 2-story, bloated, top-hat-wearing, cigar chomping pig outside the home of Cablevision director Vincent Tese. They complained about Cablevision's alleged anti-union busting tactics.
Buoyed by Bill de Blasio’s narrative about income inequality in the city , protesters claim on their website that “The sun is setting on a city run by the and for the 1 percent.
While protests are planned for the rest of the week, any changes that might happen will have to wait until after the new mayor takes office in January.
Protesters inside the Grand Cafe, claiming the owner unfairly fired 4 workers for union organizing. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)
Protesters with 32BJ SEIU hang a banner on the High Line calling for luxury condos to pay building workers higher wages. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)