Workplace Fairness

Menu

Skip to main content

  • print
  • decrease text sizeincrease text size
    text

New York City Office Cleaner Strike Averted by Tentative Deal

Share this post

Laura ClawsonA potential strike by New York City office cleaners was averted Friday night when SEIU Local 32BJ and the Realty Advisory Board came to a tentative agreement. The agreement, which must be ratified by workers, includes regular wage increases and $1,100 in bonuses and keeps employer-paid health coverage. Those victories for the current office cleaners weren’t all, though: the agreement does not include a two-tier wage system under which new hires would have been permanently paid just 70 percent of what current workers earn. Instead (PDF), new hires will begin at 75 percent and rise to the full pay rate in steps over a period of 42 months. Workers will also be able to continue contributing to the union’s political fund through automatic payroll deductions, another thing the building owners had sought to eliminate.

“The new contract is not just an important victory for office cleaners and their families, but for our economy and our city,” said Hector Figueroa, Secretary-Treasurer of 32BJ. “In these tough times the workers who keep New York City’s corporate offices and landmark buildings clean and well maintained have stood up for the good middle class jobs our economy and our city needs.” […] “I am happy with this agreement,” said Ivan Almendarez who is a cleaner at New York University. “Keeping my healthcare and getting wage increases will go a long way toward helping me raise my kids and take care of my ailing wife.”

There are so many levels of goodness to this victory. The owners of New York City’s biggest buildings didn’t get away with trying to mobilize public opinion against office cleaners for having the audacity to make $47,000 a year. They didn’t get away with making it more difficult for those workers to contribute to their union’s political mobilization. And those 22,000 workers will continue to have the health coverage they need and to get raises so they can continue to make ends meet.

This blog originally appeared in Daily Kos Labor on January 2, 2012. Reprinted with permission.

About the Author: Laura Clawson is labor editor at Daily Kos. She has a PhD in sociology from Princeton University and has taught at Dartmouth College. From 2008 to 2011, she was senior writer at Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO.


Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow this Blog

Subscribe via RSS Subscribe via RSS

Or, enter your address to follow via email:

Recent Posts

Forbes Best of the Web, Summer 2004
A Forbes "Best of the Web" Blog

Archives

  • Tracking image for JustAnswer widget
  • Find an Employment Lawyer

  • Support Workplace Fairness

 
 

Find an Employment Attorney

The Workplace Fairness Attorney Directory features lawyers from across the United States who primarily represent workers in employment cases. Please note that Workplace Fairness does not operate a lawyer referral service and does not provide legal advice, and that Workplace Fairness is not responsible for any advice that you receive from anyone, attorney or non-attorney, you may contact from this site.