As the clock moved past midnight last night, there was still no deal for New York City doormen and apartment workers. Then at 12:10 a.m. the union for the workers announced that an agreement had been reached.
Prior to this, doorman throughout the city were on the job feeling anxious about what might happen over the next few hours. The deadline was midnight and for a while it looked like the doormen would leave their shifts and not be replaced on Wednesday morning.
Union spokesman Kwame Patterson said the four-year deal includes a 10 percent wage increase over the life of contract and no givebacks in benefits.
The union and building owners’ association had until 12:01 a.m. Wednesday to hammer out a deal. Patterson said the agreement was reached nine minutes later.
The city’s 30,000 doorman, porters, and maintenance men had been on the brink of striking for the first time since 1991. At issue were wages, overtime rules and benefits including health care and sick time.
“We have made progress. There are, however, some major issues left to be resolved,” Howard Rothschild, the president of the Realty Advisory Board, said during a Tuesday evening press conference.
Caught in the middle were the tenants who would have been forced to do the jobs they’re paying others to do.
“You know, sweeping and cleaning the floors, getting the garbage down every day.
But now that a deal has been reached business as usual will remain the status quo on Wednesday.
If there had been a walkout, workers at 3,000 buildings were not expected to show up.
In 1991 the strike threat was very real. It lasted for 2 weeks. In 2006, a strike was avoided when both sides came to an eleventh hour agreement.
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