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Elevator strike settled.

Owners and elevator service companies were relieved last week when striking workers returned to work after agreeing to a three-year contract package that provides an overall three percent raise.

High Points

* Three year agreement, Nov. 14, 1993-Oct. 27, 1996

* Increases: 1st year 2 percent, 2nd, 2.5 percent 3rd year 3 percent increases.

* New 401K Plan.

* Scheduled callbacks paid at time and a half except paid at double-time if cause was fire or water damage, misuse or abuse.

* Voluntary 2nd shift for modernization gets 110 percent of regular pay.

* If route mechanic authorizes, helpers can do unsupervised maintenance.

"From the perspective of an ownership it's additional monies that affect the base costs," noted James A. Pirot, vice president in charge of operations at Helmsley-Spear. "It's harder for Downtown owners, but for the whole city overall, it is fair."

Deborah Beck, vice president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said they were pleased the issue was finally resolved.

Steven C. Tilchen, director of residential business for Millar Elevator Industries, was exhausted from personally handling service calls and noticeably relieved after receiving the news while attending his booth at the Council of New York Cooperatives housing conference.

"Not one of the customers were without service," he boasted, adding only that it might have taken a little longer than usual.

The company had notified its customers of the walk-out after it began on Nov. 4. At that time, Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrica] Workers voted down the first proposal, primarily because of new shifts, seniority issues and work rules.

"It was a surprise that they did go out on strike," observed Peter L. DiCapua, president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of New York.

One of Millar's customers, Michael Cantor, president of Cantor Real Estate, said they put up notices in their buildings to let residents know there would be a delay responding to service calls. But his concern, as with other owners, was how the new contract would increase costs.

A member of the employers' bargaining team, who asked not to be identified, said they made some adjustments to the original package that included minor flexibility changes. The second contract did not require seniority changes or regular second shifts. "I felt it was an equitable settlement," he said. "People are satisfied or they wouldn't have come off a strike.

DiCapua, a senior vice president of Atco Properties & Management, said the contractors that service their buildings had guaranteed they would have management available to service the elevators. Additionally, because Atco is cognizant of expiring contracts, they did not have any modernization projects underway.

"We are sensitive to when contracts are up and do not plan projects around that time," he said. Their next scheduled elevator modernization project is kicking off in January.

Pirot said the Empire State Building's modernization crew also went out, so it set that job back a week. "A week may have turned into two or three weeks, but it worked out," he added.

Meanwhile, the Realty Advisory Board met last week to begin preparations for negotiations with Local 32B-J, the union that represents 30,000 doormen, porters and handipersons working in 4,000 residential buildings, whose contract expires April 30, 1994. Three years ago, some of the men walked off the job for nearly three weeks, creating situations where tenants and unit owners did much of the work.

The contract for the operating engineers of Local 94 is also up on Dec. 30, 1994. "It will be a year of hot negotiations," quipped Pirot, who sits on the RAB.
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Title Annotation:striking workers at elevator service companies agree to three-year contract
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Nov 24, 1993
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