UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — An estimated 10,000 essential workers will rally in Manhattan to demand fair wage increases and other benefits on Wednesday afternoon.
The building services workers, including 32BJ SEIU union members coming from New York, D.C. and Miami, will hold a protest alongside supporters to pressure the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations to agree to a new contract that includes fair wage increases, fully employer-paid health care for families and no givebacks for 32,000 porters, doorpersons, superintendents, handypersons and concierges, according to a union spokesperson.
The rally will be held at 3 p.m. along Park Avenue near East 79th Street. At 5 p.m., building workers will vote on whether to give the bargaining committee the power to call for a strike, if they decide it becomes necessary.
A strike, if it occurs, would affect over 3,000 buildings and 555,000 apartments citywide, according to the union.
A spokesperson for the Realty Advisory Board told PIX11 News in a statement that the board has offered “fair and reasonable wage increases,” among other concessions.
“The strike authorization vote happens every four years and does not mean a strike will occur. It simply allows 32BJ the option to strike, should we be unable to reach an agreement. The RAB has proposed fair and reasonable wage increases, as well as the sharing of health care costs through employee contributions to the premiums, of which employees currently pay zero,” the spokesman said in an emailed statement. “Our relationship with the union has resulted in more than 30 years of uninterrupted labor peace and we continue to work towards that same goal this year.”