Bronx building workers rally as strike deadline nears.
Hundreds of apartment building workers rallied in the Bronx
yesterday as next week's deadline for a new union contract looms.
Some 3,000 superintendents, janitors, doormen, garbage handlers and
other workers in more than 1,000 Bronx apartment buildings are
threatening to walk off the job at 12:01 a.m. March 15 unless their
union, 32BJ, is able to come to terms with the group representing their
employers, the Bronx Realty Advisory Board. Negotiations have been
ongoing since last month, but the union says its retirement and health
care demands are still unresolved, as the landlords have proposed cuts
to their benefits packages. If the two sides fail to reach an agreement,
close to 250,000 Bronx residents will be affected. Bronx Borough
President Ruben Diaz is planning to hold a press conference this weekend
to urge "fair negotiations... and avert a devastating strike."