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Sunday, August 14, 2011
Rose Associates vs. Union Painters
Portion of a flyer being distributed by union painters of District Council 9. Click on graphic to bring it up larger in another window.
For a few weeks, former ST union painters and other union members have been protesting outside of the Stuyvesant Town rental office on 1st Ave. (Joining them in the protests has been a hilarious big inflated cockroach.) The contract with painters of District Council 9 expired in May, but a new contract agreement with manager Rose Associates failed to produce a resolution, with both sides pointing the finger at the other. What seems to be the bottom line after the bs is swept away is that Rose Associates would not settle on an almost 25% reduction in the current wage of union painters that the painters' union was offering, but insisted the cut would be 50%. (Benefits would also be cut.) As explained by management in Town & Village, the July 28th edition, "Management offered painters an hourly rate that is in line with the hourly rare paid to other skilled unions at the property." Perhaps so, but shouldn't pay be related to the specific work being done? Should a painter be getting the same salary as a grounds person gets to blow leaves off a lawn? Should a painter be getting the same salary as a plumber gets to fix a faucet? Should Adam or Daniel Rose be getting the same salary as a receptionist at Rose Associates?
A startling $60 an hour figure has been mentioned as the pay for union painters, but Jack Kittle, a spokesman for the union, claimed in the August 4th issue of T&V that the average pay for workers was $35, with a median salary of 45K-50K. T&V did mention that "projects don't necessarily last throughout the year," which signifies to me that some workers at least were getting the larger hourly rate. Regardless of whatever the hourly rate was, a reduction of 50% is very steep and surely something that most union workers could not accept.
If you wish to support the painters, the union requests that you call Rose Associates at 212-253-3660 and Chairman Daniel Rose at 212-210-6666.