UNIONS

Met Opera Building Workers To Rally Later Today

The Met Opera

A day after Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb warned of a potential lockout over the troubled cultural institution’s contract negotiations with its employees, the union representing security guards, office clerks, ushers and other less-heralded workers are holding an afternoon rally to protest what it calls “Met Opera’s Poverty Proposal.”

The 150 Met employees who are part of 32BJ SEIU, the country’s largest property service worker union, are clamoring against significant reductions to their health and pension benefits in the Met’s proposed contract as the two sides close in on a looming deadline at the end of the month. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Midtown East Task Force Leaders Want Union Input, Too

Grand Central Station

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Dan Garodnick clarified earlier reports that unions won’t have representation on the committee of 10 organizations tasked with compiling a framework for the rezoning of Midtown East yesterday.

The two leaders of the pre-Land Use Review Procedure steering group pledged to involve union representatives in the negotiations despite initial reports that unions like 32BJ SEIU, the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York and the Hotel Trades Council won’t have any delegates on the committee of Community Boards, business groups and advocacy organizations. Read More

UNIONS

Met Opera Responds to 32BJ Building Workers

The Met Opera

Metropolitan Opera officials struck a conciliatory tone in their first comments after the Met’s 32BJ SEIU security guards, porters and other full and part-time workers went public with their disgust over the Met’s proposed new contract, Commercial Observer has learned.

Met officials are circulating documents showing that the opera’s total labor costs rose from $185.9 million to $258.9 million between fiscal years 2006 and 2013, and they pointed out that the Met’s potential health care and pension cuts in its proposal for 150 32BJ workers would reduce those employees’ compensation on a smaller scale than the Met’s proposal for its performers. Read More

UNIONS

Met Opera Building Workers Angry About Proposed Contract [Updated]

Robert Pelegrino

Security guards, office clerks, maintenance staff and other employees in the 32BJ SEIU union at the Metropolitan Opera are up in arms over a pay freeze and benefit cut in their proposed contract, Commercial Observer has learned.

The country’s largest property service workers union, 32BJ represents 150 workers at the Met who work full and part-time in roles like usher, elevator operator and ticket-taker, and, just as performers at the financially-troubled cultural institution would see their pay cut under new five-year contracts slated to go into effect when the current contract expires on July 31, the less-heralded building staffers would work without their normal 2 percent annual raise and see their pensions and health care coverage reduced. Read More

Controversies

Group Grades The Moinian Group With a Big Fat “F”

Moinian

Things could get rowdy when a consortium of elected officials including City Council Speaker Christine Quinn rallies near City Hall this afternoon to issue a report card to Joe Moinian’s The Moinian Group for alleged failings as a real estate developer and landlord.

The report card grades the developer – with letter grade “F” across the board – on tenant relations, safety, financial stability, vendor relations and the creation of good jobs.

“It’s going to be rowdy – we’re expecting hundreds of people,” said Jessica Ramos, a spokesperson for Build Up NYC, one of the groups spearheading the effort.  “We want to create public support and awareness for them to be a responsible developer and build buildings with good jobs that actually help the economy.” Read More

Postings

Watching the City’s Window Washers

Postings

The vast number of glass towers rising in the New York City skyline–think 1 World Trade Center, One57, 7 Bryant Park–and a recent New York Times article on the subject got The Commercial Observer wondering about the city’s window washers. 32BJ SEIU, the trade union that represents 70,000 building workers in New York City and Long Island, among them window cleaners, provided some details about the industry. As the square footage of their workspace continues to expand–1 World Trade Center’s podium, alone, will include more than 4,000 glass fins, measuring 13 feet 4 inches by two feet–these workers dangle dozens of stories up, suspended by safety belts and one New York State Department of Labor rule. Read More

Postings

Watching the City’s Window Washers

Postings

The vast number of glass towers rising in the New York City skyline–think 1 World Trade Center, One57, 7 Bryant Park–and a recent New York Times article on the subject got The Commercial Observer wondering about the city’s window washers. 32BJ SEIU, the trade union that represents 70,000 building works in New York City and Long Island, among them window cleaners, provided some details about the industry. As the square footage of their workspace continues to expand–1 World Trade Center’s podium, alone, will include more than 4,000 glass fins, measuring 13 feet 4 inches by two feet–these workers dangle dozens of stories up, suspended by safety belts and one New York State Department of Labor rule. After the jump, New York City’s window washing industry, by the numbers. Read More