2004-08-06 / Community

Local 32 Union Workers Take Legal Action

By Shelly Banjo

In continuing efforts to take back their jobs, twelve members of Local 32 BJ Union filed an injunction against Allied Properties LLC for violating New York City’s Displaced Building Service Workers Protection Act.

The Act gives building service workers 90 days of protection against layoffs when a building is sold to a new owner.

Building Service workers at Allied’s three newly acquired Rockaway properties, 249 Beach 15 Street, 1410 New Haven Road, 1403 - 1421 Heyson Road and 26-45 9 Street in Astoria, were “locked out” of their jobs on July 14.

On that date, all of the maintenance workers in the three buildings were told that they no longer had jobs. Residents in the building were told that no maintenance or garbage collection would be available in the buildings until new workers were put in place. Garbage began to pile up and repair orders went unanswered.

Since then, union workers have protested outside 249 Beach 15 Street with picket signs reading “Locked Out by Allied Properties.”

On Tuesday July 27, more than 60 workers, union supporters and community leaders came out to rally against Allied.

“We want the tenants to know their workers are out here on the street and should be in the buildings doing our jobs,” said Joseph Marin, superintendent at 249 Beach 15 Street.

As they marched in purple union shirts they chanted, “We got the power, what kind of power, union power!”

This is the first legal action taken under the new law since it was adopted on Nov. 2002. If the court rules in favor of Local 32 BJ, Allied will be required to immediately reinstate workers and provide them with back pay.

In the meantime, members wait for the NY Supreme Court in Queens County to have a hearing and set a court date. Local 32BJ spokesman, Matt Nerzig said he expects a court date sometime next week.

A spokesperson for Allied has not been available for comment.

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