Residents of the landmarked Tribeca Clock Tower Building are wealthy enough to own multi-million dollar condos, but for a while at least, they’ll be taking out their own trash.

Fifteen building workers who act as porters, concierges and maintenance workers at 108 Leonard Street began a strike Tuesday morning, alleging the building’s property manager is refusing to bargain with their union.

“It’s not like we’re asking for the world,” said Baris Guler, 31, on the picket line Tuesday morning. “The building is not gonna run itself without us.”

The building owners voluntarily recognized the workers’ union in the spring of 2021, when they sought representation from 32BJ SEIU. Negotiations have since come to a grinding halt, according to a union spokesperson and records from the National Labor Relations Board.

The historic condominium building was home to the Monaco-born billionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor and cosmetic guru Cassandra Grey. Units run from between $3.5 million to $24.4 million.

Workers at the building say they earn $21.50 an hour. They are pushing to be brought in line with roughly 30,000 workers across New York City represented by 32BJ, where the salary minimum is $28 an hour. Workers are also seeking better health care coverage among other benefits.

The workers had collected several dozen signatures from sympathetic residents of the building. Resident Julia Casper signed on in support as she left the building. She said she’d sent emails to management to ask them to bargain in good faith with the workers.

“It breaks my heart. These are the guys who take care of us every day,” she said. “The least we can do is take care of them. Our building doesn’t function without them.”

Another apartment owner in the building, Ryan Howard, the founder of the digital health startup 100plus, who had been organizing residents in support of the maintenance workers, said residents too were having a hard time getting Elad Group to address pressing concerns about the building.     

He said he said for months he had no working shower, with "water falling out of the ceiling," of the bathroom where the shower should be. "I didn’t have power for a while. There were a bunch of issues,” Howard said. He had encouraged other residents to write management pressuring them to bargain with the workers, but he doubted it would gain traction, when they were ignoring complaints from millionaire residents. “They don’t care,” he added

Representatives of the property manager Elad Group, didn’t return a request for comment right away.

Employees who picketed in front of the building in recent weeks, aiming to talk to residents about the stalled negotiations, later got performance write ups, workers said.

Last week, attorneys for 32BJ filed unfair labor charges with the National Labor Relations Board, arguing the management company wasn’t bargaining in good faith, and had retaliated against workers for union activity, according to a document provided by the union.

“We think this building can become a great place to work, we love the residents, and we know we deserve the dignity, recognition, wages and benefits that we are demanding,” said Alec Colon, 26, another of the workers on strike. “The cost of living is just too high, and rent keeps skyrocketing.”

This story has been updated with additional comment and information as well as to clarify one of the issues facing a condo owner.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of the building's management company.