2011-09-02 / Top Stories

Striking Workers Rejected During Irene

By Nicholas Briano

Workers of the Dayton Beach Park co-op have been on strike since July. Workers of the Dayton Beach Park co-op have been on strike since July. As Hurricane Irene was heading towards the Rockaway peninsula last weekend, the striking workers of Dayton Beach Park wanted to put aside their differences to help out with the storm preparation and response.

Management, however, refused, leaving the tenants without any unionized maintenance staff on the premises to assist with preparation and potential problems caused by the storm.

“These workers have always been there for the tenants and the buildings, and want to be there for them now,” Hector Figueroa, Secretary Treasurer of 32BJ SEIU, the union representing the workers, said in a statement. “Ensuring the tenants’ safety is more important than any dispute.”

But that offer of temporary peace was rejected and the workers weren’t able to help the building tenants with any of the storm cleanup. The workers, who include doormen, maintenance men, porters and groundskeepers, asked management to allow them back on the job to help move elderly or infirmed residents to higher floors; secure windows and doors that can blow open; secure the outdoor common space, balconies and parking facilities.

The 26 workers have been on strike since July 7 and, according to union officials, no end is in sight as talks have officially stalled. Dayton Beach Park Cooperative consists of five beachfront buildings with more than 5,000 residents living in 1149 units.

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