Q&A: A Union-Run Building?

Q Our board president recently made a statement that "our building is essentially controlled by the building Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 32BJ." What does this mean? Are there some sort of documents to accompany such agreement? Any written contract? Our board president refuses to present us this information. What if the board refuses to allow shareholders/owners to see pertinent paperwork, like financial documents, union or labor contracts, etc. What recourse, if any, exists?

—Concerned Shareholder

A “Building Service 32BJ is commonly known as the doorman's union, and most people learn about the existence of the union when there is a threat of a strike every three years when the residential contract is up for negotiations,” says New York attorney Michelle Freudenberger. “However, the union represents all building workers including doormen, porters, handymen, and security guards. There are more than 120,000 members in eight states and Washington, D.C. and the union is a member of the umbrella organization known as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).

“The union members pay union dues and their employers, the building owners, make contributions on behalf of each employee. The employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements which govern their raises and other union benefits. All union members have access to legal benefits through the 32BJ Legal Services Fund and have dental and pension benefits through the Dental and Pension Funds.

“There are tactical and economic advantages to multi-employer bargaining units, which makes the negotiations between the building owners and the employees very fierce during recessions. However, I do not think that there has been a strike in the residential division since 1991. The latest residential contract was signed in April, 2010 and will be up for renewal in 2013.” n

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  • If i quit my job after 3 years what im allowed to get ,from the company,i know i get my 2 weeks vacation do i get at least one week from them?