Strike could leave tenants in 500 buildings on their own

SOUNDVIEW - Tenants in 500 Bronx buildings may soon have to throw out their own trash, go without repairs and open their own doors if contract talks fail Wednesday.

Nearly 4,000 Bronx building superintendents, porters, maintenance workers and doormen with the SEIU Local 32BJ are threatening to walk off the job.

The union has said it has until midnight, an extension from a March 14 deadline, to hammer out a deal with the Bronx Realty Advisory Board, which represents property owners.

The union claims workers in the borough are getting paid about $10 per hour, while their counterparts in other boroughs are being paid nearly twice that amount.

Workers are also demanding pension increases and health care benefits that are fully funded by employers.

SEIU Local 32BJ maintains the Bronx's real estate industry is booming, but workers who make it possible haven't seen the benefits.

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