Building workers' union rallying to reach agreement to maintain health benefits, boost wages

Members of the union were spotted outside of Skyview Manor in Riverdale, rallying and saying they're ready to strike if an agreement isn't reached by March 31.

Heather Fordham and Adolfo Carrion

Feb 21, 2024, 11:25 PM

Updated 62 days ago

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Building workers of the 32BJ SEIU union rallied across the Bronx to ensure they can keep their health benefits and increase their wages.
Members of the union were spotted outside of Skyview Manor in Riverdale, rallying and saying they're ready to strike if an agreement isn't reached by March 31. Union members say the March 31 deadline was set by the Bronx Realty Advisory Board (BRAB) for their contracts to potentially be terminated.
Those at Wednesday's rally say that BRAB is now trying to go back on that offer and renegotiate - something they won't take.
"We're just asking them to... give the same contract that we negotiated. We're not asking for anything more, but if they keep on doing this then I guess we're going to have to ask for more," said Tony Ahmeti, resident manager at Skyview Manor.
32BJ SEIU provided the following statement to News 12:
“Last year, 32BJ and the BRAB negotiated a 4-year agreement that was a fair contract for both workers and Bronx employers. Workers won fair wage increases--averaging 3% per year--and 32BJ was able to offer the industry better rates for benefits coverage than in prior contracts without cutting our benefits. Hundreds of other independent coops, condos, and rental buildings have signed agreements with these same economic terms. Last year, the BRAB demanded the right to reopen the contract in 2024--to protect rental landlords in case the 2023 increases at the Rent Guidelines Board were low. But last fall the Rent Guidelines Board approved strong 3% increases for 2023, on top of the 3.25% increases in 2022. Even though the rental landlords have gotten the increases they wanted, the BRAB notified 32BJ that it is terminating our contract on March 31. The BRAB is seeking givebacks that will come out of workers pockets’ with lower wages or cuts to our benefits. Our families cannot survive on lower wages or cuts in our benefits. What the BRAB is doing will force workers in Riverdale and across the Bronx to strike to protect our families. Workers are mobilizing across the Bronx.”


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