With their contract expiring at midnight tomorrow night, members of the Local 32 BJ union are ready to strike. And while they've been accused of crying wolf, union leaders say they're serious this time. "The steps we're taking for a possible strike are definitely beyond what we've done in the past," said Matt Nerzig of 32 BJ told the Daily News. He said the plan includes shoring up $10 million to cover strike pay and other related costs. The strike would encompass 30,000 workers, and affect over 1 million residents in every borough except the Bronx.
Over 1,000 strike leaders have been trained to lead picket lines and other rallies, and the union has secured a permit to march across the Brooklyn Bridge next Monday. Unfortunately, no one will be able too see it because they'll be too busy panicking over what to do with all their garbage! Though the Realty Advisory Board has sent out manuals regarding emergency procedures, many buildings have been preparing in their own ways, like posting volunteer sheets for watching the front door, hallway cleaning and trash duty.
This also means many residents will have to talk to their neighbors for the first time. Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums executive director Mary Ann Rothman told the Times, “If there is a positive thing to be pulled out of this, it’s that it is an opportunity to get to know your neighbors, and to come together to combat a little bit of adversity, because this is not the end of the world, though it may appear that way if the strike goes on." But not everyone agrees with her positive outlook. One resident facing life without a doorman said, “It would be a bummer if they strike. It’s a lot nicer when they help with the work."
In an attempt to avoid the doomsday scenario, city leaders like Bill de Blasio, City Comptroller John Liu, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, and MBP Scott Stringer are holding a press conference this morning, urging the Realty Advisory Board to "settle a fair contract with the workers." But the RAB doesn't seem worried yet. Spokesman Jim Grossman said, "There's no reason to believe things can't be worked out." The two sides are currently in closed door negotiations.