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Union members at office building strike over wages and benefits

| Oct 4, 2018 | Employee Benefits |

In New York, workaday people are the city’s lifeblood. They maintain, keep things running smoothly, and go about their jobs in an understated and professional way. These workers include cleaners for office buildings. For them, the jobs can be physically demanding and they are often underappreciated. For those who find themselves dealing with issues getting the wages they are owed and do not get the benefits they are entitled to, it is crucial that they remember their rights under labor law.

Workers who assert that they received reduced pay and benefits from their new employer at a Manhattan office building have gone on strike. Their job duties include cleaning and maintenance. The problems began when the building was sold and the new owner is accused of mistreating them. Their union representative and others who are supporting them held a rally outside the building before they went on strike. They demand that the wages and benefits be given to the workers as they were before.

One man who is employed as a porter expressed concerns about paying for medical treatment for his wife as his reduced salary and lost benefits is a major problem for his family. The 50-year-old says that he enjoys his job, but will be forced to leave if this is not rectified. Another worker believes the reduced wages will impact her ability to pay her mortgage and other expenses. The building was bought earlier in the summer for more than $222 million. The purchaser changed the cleaning contract to another company that was unwilling to pay the wages the union demands. The new cleaning company offered the workers $15 per hour – a $10 reduction from what they got before. The evening shift workers began their strike with the day shift workers expected to join them the next morning.

When workers have reduced wages, it can be a complicated situation. This can happen when a workplace – in this case an office building – is sold to new owners. The idea of unions is to protect workers from this type of treatment. Often, employers will try to exploit workers and take advantage of them. Union members must remember their rights when there are wage and hour disputes. A law firm that is experienced in employee benefits, labor law, wage investigations and helping members get and maintain their benefits could be called for help to handle these difficult cases.