WOW! Got the news at the New York Central Labor council, sources say the agreement came around 1:00AM. Hope they saw the story on the site. Though it needs member ratification, there is now a tentative agreement on the table.
From NY1 (9 hours ago on 3/20):
I think the resident were going to be behind them 100%, Joe's Union Review and everyone who the guy who runs this site certainly was. Avoiding a strike is a victory for the workers and for the residents.
Video Link in Real Media format
A strike that would have put thousands of Bronx apartment building workers on the picket line has been avoided.
Local 32BJ announced Thursday morning that it had reached a tentative deal with the Bronx Realty Board after encouraging talks overnight.
Nearly 4,000 building workers threatened Wednesday to walk off the job. About 300 buildings would have been affected.
The new deal calls for a wage increase that amounts to $20 a week for the maintenance workers, porters, and doormen who have been working without a contract. Union leaders say that it is the largest increase ever negotiated with the Bronx Realty Advisory Board.
The new contract also calls for pension increases, along with improved health care and worker training programs.
"They reserve respect and dignity on the job," said Local 32BJ Executive Vice President Kyle Bragg. "One way of doing that is to be able to come to work with a peace of mind, knowing that you make a livable wage and that you have benefits in place that will provide security for yourselves and your family."
"We reached a package we were aiming for and I'm happy," said a union member.
Some local residents who spoke with NY1 said the workers deserve a fair wage.
"The building is clean and they keep in safe," said a Riverdale resident. "They're really great people."
"I hope the garbage doesn't pile up," said another. "But they work very hard and I don't understand why they don't get paid what they deserve."
The three-year contract still needs to be ratified by the union members.