Worker Strike Continues At Co-op City
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Trash is piling up, grass is going unmowed, and building repairs are being put off at Co-op City, where 500 workers are entering the second day of a work stoppage.
Local 32BJ, which represents porters, maintenance workers, garbage attendants and grounds keepers in Co-op City, walked off the job yesterday after failing to reach a new contract with RiverBay Corporation, which manages the complex.
The union is angry over the recent proposal, which it says includes a four-year wage freeze, but management says that's not the case.
"We've offered to provide fair salary increases for the men and women at a rate of 2.3 percent a year for four years,” said Vernon Cooper, general manager of the RiverBay Corporation. “We also agreed that there would be no contributions on the part of the employees to their health plan. And we also agreed to a 20-percent increase to their pension plan. So we have negotiated in good faith."
"The cost of living in New York City continues to increase every year and it's absurd that they should think these workers should remain at the same wage base today and be at the same place four years from now, when things continue to go up: gas, milk, all the basic essentials of living and working here in New York,” said 32BJ Vice President Kyle Bragg.
The 55,000 residents at the nation's largest housing complex are dealing with a major garbage pileup.
RiverBay is operating under a contingency plan to keep the complex running smoothly.