2006_03_23_doormen.jpg

Remember the Transit Strike of 2005? That was fun, wasn't it? OK, well, we had a good time, which is why we are totally pumped over the possibilty that there might be a doorman strike come April 20. Of course, it helps our excitment that we've never lived in a doorman building...

Anywho, Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, which represents 28,000 residential doormen in the city in more than 3,500 apartment buildings, rejected a new contract proposal yesterday that would have had employee's paying %15 of their health care premiums each year instead of the nothing they pay under their current contract. The union really didn't like this propsed change and wants everyone to know it. "Make no mistake, Local 32BJ is prepared to strike if the multibillion-dollar real estate industry refuses to provide building service workers the health care coverage, wages and pension they need to make ends meet," according to union President Mike Fishman.

In case you were curious, 32BJ building workers are "the highest paid in the country, with an average wage of $17.94 an hour or roughtly $37,000 a year."

Anyway, we've got a while until April 20 and this story is just beginning. So let's all just sit back and giggle over the idea of the Upper East Side without doormen!

Meanwhile, a TWU update: Just as spring sprung this week, the MTA struck back. Transit workers looking at the pay stubs they receive today and wondering where all their money went should look just beneath the Social Security and Medicare deductions for a deduction marked "Taylor Law," that'd be where their money went. The amount deducted this month is half of the total fine for days not worked. The second half of the fine will come next month. As for a new contract, the state's Public Employement Relations Board will decide today whether to "postpone arbitation until after the union re-votes on the contract members rejected by serven votes in January." Which is to say we should find out soon, and of course we'll let you know as soon as we hear. UPDATE: Looks like it is going to be binding arbitration after all.

Doorman from minusbaby's flickr stream.