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.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.