In a statement released on Thursday, June 10, Service Employees International Union SEIU 32BJ President Kyle Bragg lauded the passage of S6350A/A7434 - a landmark piece of legislation the union had long championed on behalf of workers in tri-state area luxury condo and co-op buildings. The bill guarantees a living wage for this class of workers, who according to union reps and employment activists, often struggle to make ends meet, despite working in very affluent buildings where units typically sell for millions of dollars. According to Bragg’s statement, "We applaud the State Senate and the Assembly for passing vital legislation that ensures more high-end condo and co-op apartment buildings in New York City pay their workers family-sustaining wages and benefits. By expanding the prevailing wage requirement to luxury buildings receiving tax abatements, some 2,000 hard-working doormen and women, porters, concierges and other building service workers will be able to pay their bills and provide a bright future for their families.”
"For generations, these jobs have been a bedrock of the middle-class in New York City,” Bragg continued, “but as some newer buildings are trying to fight that standard, our union is fighting back. For the last 18 months, building service workers have been on the frontlines of this pandemic keeping millions of New Yorkers safe and comfortable in their homes, often at great personal cost to their own health and well-being. Many of these workers are still barely getting by on pay that's often little more than minimum wage and little or no healthcare. We thank sponsors Senator Benjamin and Assembly Member De La Rosa as well as Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for taking the lead to recognize the importance of good jobs for these heroic workers.”
In conclusion, said Bragg, "Now that the bill has passed in both chambers, we look forward to Governor Cuomo signing the bill into law so that these workers and their families can reap the benefits of decent pay and quality affordable healthcare for themselves and their families."
SEIU 32BJ is the largest property services union in the country, with 175,000 members in 11 states and Washington DC, including more than 85,000 in New York and New Jersey.