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Posted: 4/19/2010 7:20:38 AM EDT
New Yorkers Brace for Doorman Strike

It has been nearly two decades since New Yorkers faced their last doorman strike, but as the deadline for a new contract for building workers approached, the questions being posed throughout the city remained largely unchanged on Sunday.

Who will safeguard my apartment as I sleep? Greet my children when they come home from school? Accept deliveries? Clean the hallways? Sort the mail? Operate the elevator? And who, for goodness sake, will let the cleaning lady in?

Residents, co-op boards and building management companies have been busy planning for the sudden complications that could come at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday with the possible departure of the building workers who, among many other things, hold open the city’s doors.

The Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations has distributed a preparedness manual with recommendations for keeping buildings in operation in case of a strike. “A strike is not pleasant, nor should it be taken lightly,” according to the 45-page document. “During a period of work stoppage, pressures and problems develop which make building management very difficult.”

Throughout the city, security guards have already been alerted to arrive at buildings an hour before the negotiating deadline so they can take over for the first overnight shift in the event of a walkout. Many buildings would then adopt a more restrictive policy, with residents being required to use building keys, display identification to the security guards and pick up visitors or deliveries themselves. Some buildings are planning to take service elevators, storage rooms and garages out of operation if there is a strike.

“The whole operation of the building would basically be shut down and we’d rely on residents to pitch in just to get by,” said Dan Wurtzel, president of Cooper Square Realty, one of the largest residential management companies in the New York. “There’s a tremendous amount of preparation we have to undertake. Then, if it doesn’t happen, we can breathe a sign of relief. If it does happen, then we’re prepared to deal with it.”

Many buildings have also posted sign-up sheets for residents to volunteer to watch the front doors, clean hallways and take out garbage, though the forms in the lobbies of a handful of Upper East Side buildings remained mostly blank on Sunday afternoon.

Mary Ann Rothman, executive director of the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums, has signed up for volunteer work in her own co-op.

“If there is a positive thing to be pulled out of this, it’s that it is an opportunity to get to know your neighbors,” she said, “and to come together to combat a little bit of adversity, because this is not the end of the world, though it may appear that way if the strike goes on.”

Arriving on Park Avenue on Sunday, Robert Neis, a marketing executive, immediately asked his doorman for assistance with the luggage from a family getaway to Shelter Island, N.Y. “It would be a bummer if they strike,” Mr. Neis said. “It’s a lot nicer when they help with the work.”

Harold Gerber, who runs a real estate business and has lived in his co-op on East 75th Street for more than two decades, said he was already worried about security, and grumbled at the prospect of hauling his own trash. “It will affect us tremendously,” he said.

Some doormen were skeptical that contract workers or volunteers would be able to take up their duties. Salvador Gonzalez, a doorman at a building on the Upper East Side, said that as the deadline approached, he has even added a new responsibility to his usual assortment of tasks: giving inquiring residents tips on how to do his job.

Though many residents on Sunday said they believed that a deal would be reached before the deadline, little progress was made during contract negotiations over the weekend, said Matt Nerzig, chief spokesman for Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union.

The 30,000 residential doormen, porters, superintendents, elevator operators and handymen now earn an average of $40,500 a year, with benefits raising the total to nearly $70,000, according to the Realty Advisory Board, which represents building owners. The workers are seeking wage increases, while building owners are pushing to reduce benefit costs.

“We’re working hard, we’re talking,” Ms. Rothman said. “There’s a lot of good will on both sides and very different feelings about the current economic situation.”

“I don’t think anyone wants a strike,” she added.


Oh teh noes!! I'll have to be responsible for myself!!

Opening my own doors... Cleaning my own apartment... Providing for my own security... The horror!!!



_MaH
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:23:59 AM EDT
I'm glad I left that toilet.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:26:25 AM EDT
I had no idea there was such a thing as a doorman's union.

Learn something everyday I suppose.

Maybe Jerry needs to go straighten them out.



Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:29:17 AM EDT
Doormen, as I understand it, serve the function of preventing any of the city's 8 million inhabitants from entering a building they don't live in.

In other words, it seems the demand for doormen in a city of 8 million is driven by the desire to not feel like you live in a city of 8 million.

Oh if only NYC wasn't the only place on all of planet Earth to live

_MaH
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:30:23 AM EDT
So what valuable skill/trade does this union protect?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:30:38 AM EDT
Oh noes! Muffy and Biff will have to open their own doors!
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:34:13 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mean_sartin:
So what valuable skill/trade does this union protect?


Doors and sign-in rosters, apparently.

They are unarmed, but apparently provide security, too

The biggest joke of all is how the NYT addresses this matter as if it's some kind of absolutely critical crisis. They appear to regard a doorman strike with the same level of tenacity and severity as they would a police strike

_MaH
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:34:20 AM EDT
Thats just a damn shame when a job like that needs to have a Union.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:40:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By stangboy555:
Thats just a damn shame when a job like that needs to have a Union.

Exactly what I was thinking.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:46:44 AM EDT
This thread reminds me of when the Madison Symphony Orchestra went on strike a year ago. Pathetic.

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:49:02 AM EDT
This is one of those cases of New Yorkers making a mockery of themselves.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:49:44 AM EDT
Zsa Zsa Gabor is gonna slap some one silly.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:50:45 AM EDT
They do have cool uniforms.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:54:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Drsalee:
They do have cool uniforms.
Right out of the circus...

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:55:14 AM EDT
The horror.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 7:55:27 AM EDT
Wait what? New Yorkers are going to have to open their own doors?

So how many businesses do you think are going to figure out during the strike that they don't really *need* a doorman?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:04:06 AM EDT
"Excuse me, sir? You need to sign in."

"Not now, Chief, I'm in the fuckin' zone."
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:06:07 AM EDT
How can the most intelligent, sophisticated citizens in the nation be expected to operate an elevator without professional supervision?

This country is a nation of retards.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:07:00 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Demosthenes99:
I had no idea there was such a thing as a doorman's union.

Learn something everyday I suppose.

Maybe Jerry needs to go straighten them out.

http://img1.sidereel.com/_episodeimage/1b7d.6.18.jpg



I love that episode.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:11:56 AM EDT
Oh look...another union.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:13:30 AM EDT
fucking doormen...next it will be the bathroom attendants
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:18:12 AM EDT
Many buildings have also posted sign-up sheets for residents to volunteer to watch the front doors, clean hallways and take out garbage, though the forms in the lobbies of a handful of Upper East Side buildings remained mostly blank on Sunday afternoon.


They don't want to be scabs.

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:18:31 AM EDT
I'll go escort their wimmenz
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:25:49 AM EDT
I can't find it in myself to care about the doormen, the residents or anyone else involved in this. Life goes on and I am sure they will sort it out.

I don't even understand why this is a news story or anything beyond casual interest.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:33:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BakerMike:
"Excuse me, sir? You need to sign in."

"Not now, Chief, I'm in the fuckin' zone."

+1
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:34:03 AM EDT
Fuck 'em. I have always gotten my own damn door, and never needed to tip myself.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:35:38 AM EDT
I have a serious question. Are doormen prevalent anywhere else in the US?
Other than what I've seen on TV, I have no knowledge of doormen.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:37:18 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2010 8:41:13 AM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:38:44 AM EDT
Originally Posted By mhoffman:
Doormen, as I understand it, serve the function of preventing any of the city's 8 million inhabitants from entering a building they don't live in.

In other words, it seems the demand for doormen in a city of 8 million is driven by the desire to not feel like you live in a city of 8 million.

Oh if only NYC wasn't the only place on all of planet Earth to live

_MaH


If you can be replaced by a key, it may be best not to draw attention to yourself.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:39:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By BamaTrapper:
How can the most intelligent, sophisticated citizens in the nation be expected to operate an elevator without professional supervision?

This country is a nation of retards.

What does that have to do with New Yorkers?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:42:21 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Hal143:
Zsa Zsa Gabor is gonna slap some one herself silly.


Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:45:27 AM EDT
out of Fucking citiots.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:47:10 AM EDT
So much hate!

All I can say as the only guy in this thread to admit to having a doorman is that when you don't live in the boonies and have a porch, it's damn hard to get packages delivered without a doorman.

Also, without a doorman, how would we get the front door open?

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:47:52 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:50:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2010 9:08:37 AM EDT by David14]
I thought doormen (like fire-axes hanging behind glass barriers, convenient for when one needs to smite zombies) were merely staples of TV script-writers.

There are actually people who make their livings opening and closing doors? Must be quite an exciting table to visit on Career Day.

eta –– If there are any professional doormen (not amateurs, not volunteers, not part-timers) on arfcom, what is your position on this issue?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 8:54:58 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:05:20 AM EDT
Originally Posted By iNuhBaDNayburhood:
Originally Posted By Disintegr8or:
Originally Posted By stangboy555:
Thats just a damn shame when a job like that needs to have a Union.

Exactly what I was thinking.
That's just it - in this day & age –––– NOBODY "NEEDS" a Union!


I'd say we need them more than ever.

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:08:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mean_sartin:
So what valuable skill/trade does this union protect?

There is no valuable skill or trade, that's exactly why this profession needs a union to survive.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:08:49 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2010 9:09:48 AM EDT by rockthecasbah]
Is it a big deal?

Not really, but getting what you pay for is IMHO. If you pay several thousand dollars a month to a management company for the privilege of living in a luxury high rise with doorman service, you should get what you pay for - doorman service. The management companies need to either pay 'em, make a deal, or hire new doormen.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:08:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jeep44:
Originally Posted By iNuhBaDNayburhood:
Originally Posted By Disintegr8or:
Originally Posted By stangboy555:
Thats just a damn shame when a job like that needs to have a Union.

Exactly what I was thinking.
That's just it - in this day & age –––– NOBODY "NEEDS" a Union!


I'd say we need them more than ever.



What for?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:19:50 AM EDT
Originally Posted By rockthecasbah:
Is it a big deal?

Not really, but getting what you pay for is IMHO. If you pay several thousand dollars a month to a management company for the privilege of living in a luxury high rise with doorman service, you should get what you pay for - doorman service. The management companies need to either pay 'em, make a deal, or hire new doormen.


There's a problem in your arguement. The management companies have presumably made an offer which the union presumably rejected and hiring new doormen would likely be against labor laws. In a free and open market your statement would apply, sadly in reality it does not.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:22:51 AM EDT
Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Originally Posted By rockthecasbah:
Is it a big deal?

Not really, but getting what you pay for is IMHO. If you pay several thousand dollars a month to a management company for the privilege of living in a luxury high rise with doorman service, you should get what you pay for - doorman service. The management companies need to either pay 'em, make a deal, or hire new doormen.


There's a problem in your arguement. The management companies have presumably made an offer which the union presumably rejected and hiring new doormen would likely be against labor laws. In a free and open market your statement would apply, sadly in reality it does not.


Well said. He's right on the money, but because these people decided to unionize and, more importantly, because the law requires these consumers (you, the condo board, etc.) to hire union employees, this strike would put this reasonable request up shit creek.

Very dangerous consequences arise from the thought that the natural laws of a free market can be circumvented or eschewed. This is but one of many examples of this that we are seeing these days.

_MaH
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:23:34 AM EDT
Why are you guys arguing about this? None of you will EVER live in a Manhattan apartment building,or any other place prestigeous enough to require a Doorman-so why get your shorts in a twist over it?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:23:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By jeep44:
Originally Posted By iNuhBaDNayburhood:
Originally Posted By Disintegr8or:
Originally Posted By stangboy555:
Thats just a damn shame when a job like that needs to have a Union.

Exactly what I was thinking.
That's just it - in this day & age –––– NOBODY "NEEDS" a Union!


I'd say we need them more than ever.



And why exactly do we need MORE dead weight losses from inefficiently operating markets as a results of artificial price floors set by labor cartels during an economic recession?

I'm just dying to know...

Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:25:25 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:26:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2010 9:28:53 AM EDT by rockthecasbah]
Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:
Originally Posted By rockthecasbah:
Is it a big deal?

Not really, but getting what you pay for is IMHO. If you pay several thousand dollars a month to a management company for the privilege of living in a luxury high rise with doorman service, you should get what you pay for - doorman service. The management companies need to either pay 'em, make a deal, or hire new doormen.


There's a problem in your arguement. The management companies have presumably made an offer which the union presumably rejected and hiring new doormen would likely be against labor laws. In a free and open market your statement would apply, sadly in reality it does not.


I doubt that - no federal regulation of doormen, its not a government job, no federal monies used to employ (residential) doormen.
But even if so, then the management company needs to cowboy up and pay them or work a deal. The management companies use doorman service as a selling point, so its a benefit thats part of the whole rent deal. Residents are the ones getting the shaft - they're paying rent (or a mortgage) for a place which includes a doorman service. If the management fucked up by hiring unionized doormen, thats their problem to figure out and shouldn't impact the residents.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:27:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/19/2010 9:28:21 AM EDT by retgarr]
delete.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:28:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By jeep44:
Why are you guys arguing about this? None of you will EVER live in a Manhattan apartment building,or any other place prestigeous enough to require a Doorman-so why get your shorts in a twist over it?

My sister lives in an apartment that has one and is not rich. And someone already chimed in and said they live in such an apartment.
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:29:41 AM EDT
Why can't these people do this shit for themselves?
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:29:51 AM EDT
This is the Upper east Side of Manhattan

It's about as foreign to this New Yorker as Beijing would be
Link Posted: 4/19/2010 9:31:37 AM EDT
Originally Posted By WarWeapon762:
Why can't these people do this shit for themselves?




Why should they if they paid someone else to do it for them?
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