N.Y. Doormen Threaten To Walk Off The Job Some 30,000 New York City doormen and other building workers are threatening to strike. Their contract expires next week, and the union and building owners remain far apart. There hasn't been a strike since 1991.
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N.Y. Doormen Threaten To Walk Off The Job

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N.Y. Doormen Threaten To Walk Off The Job

N.Y. Doormen Threaten To Walk Off The Job

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

NPR's Margot Adler reports.

MARGOT ADLER: For Enrique Callo, who works in a building on the West Side, the issues are simple...

ENRIQUE CALLO: Fair wages, health benefits, and keeping up with the cost of living.

ADLER: Howard Rothschild is the president of the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations, which represents building owners. He says real estate taxes have gone up, rents have been cut, and apartments have lost value.

HOWARD ROTHSCHILD: The state of the economy in general in New York isn't very good, and specifically in residential real estate it's horrible. We need to find a way to run our buildings more efficiently and less expensively.

ADLER: The average building worker makes about $40,000 a year, plus 28,000 in benefits. Rothschild says that's a lot of money. Building workers say not enough to raise a family in the city.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)

ADLER: At the march and rally of 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union, executive director Kevin Boyle pointed to the buildings on Park Avenue. The bankers on Wall Street who live here, he said, with their bonuses, had one heck of a party.

KEVIN BOYLE: Unidentified People: No.

BOYLE: But when we sat down and negotiated, they tried to give us the check. I ain't paying the check for the party.

ADLER: Margot Adler, NPR News, New York.

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