Strike averted as doormen’s union reaches contract deal

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The contract still needs to be ratified by a vote of union members and board trustees.

Howard Rothschild, chairman of the Realty Advisory Board, said the deal was fair and would continue to create and support middle-class jobs for more than 30,000 workers.

“There is a lot of respect, admiration and gratitude for the employees,” Mr. Rothschild said. “They responded appropriately. They came to work every day. And they should be rewarded for it.

Mr Rothschild said the contract increases were the largest the board had ever granted, “much, much higher” than in any previous contract. “They asked for their employees to be recognized and rewarded and we were more than happy to do that,” he said.

For many New Yorkers, living in a “doorman building” is not just a luxury but a necessity. Doormen and their colleagues provide a measure of security and manage tasks such as delivering packages for their tenants, who live in approximately 550,000 apartments in the city.

Early in the pandemic, when many residents were locked in their apartments, building service workers took on heavier loads, Mr. Bragg said.

“You think of all the deliveries that have doubled, tripled, quadrupled,” Mr Bragg said. “People weren’t going out. They had deliveries of groceries, food, dry cleaning, laundry, lots of things that people would normally take out and personally take care of. Our members had to absorb this increase in load.

As contract negotiations dragged on this year, some buildings were preparing to make other arrangements to keep their buildings safe and clean. A luxury condominium in Midtown had sent out a notice to its tenants this month seeking volunteers to work alongside security guards who would have been hired in the event of a strike.

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