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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.

Quality of life issues are not that important, however. They tend to be ignored, despite "the rules." So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.

"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.

Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.

At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change. Sorry.

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.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Two thoughts:

If Rose is this focused on busting the painters union, they must be hurting on their P&L.

The painters' cockroach is inflatable but the ones in my building are REAL!

Anonymous said...

Daniel and Adam Rose shouldn't be paid the same as a Rose ASS receptionist. They should be paid less because they don't have half the brains or work as hard as a receptionist!
Seriously, a 50% cut in pay and benefits is a slap in the face. I don't blame the painters for not taking it. How much do the porters and handymen get paid? They work hard because they have twice or three times the workload that they used to have (especially since the place became a transient flop/dorm). The stupid recycling program gives them work that they never used to have to deal with when they just went through the buildings every day and took away stuff from in front of the incinerator doors. I know we will never return to those days, but their jobs did used to be lighter because the load was spread among more people. Painters are skilled workers and should be treated as such.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Lux but Rose is as bad
as Tishman. I know they're "trying"
but how much has this place improved?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen the rents listed on the Stuy Town web site? They are just as high as what the Speyers were charging. It's business as usual with this place, only they're not calling it luxury this time around.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm gonna go with "not at all."

Sarcasm aside, there's no evidence--hard or soft--to indicate otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Lux is trying to be nice and work with Management, but this is not a good faith Management.

Anonymous said...

Management does not appear to be interested in "working" with us.

Anonymous said...

Rose is just an extension of Tishman Speyer. I wonder if they will try to bust the maintenance workers' union and bring in scabs. Wouldn't put anything past these greedy bloodsuckers.

Anonymous said...

Where are ya, STR? Hope you're ok and just taking a vacation. We miss ya!

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I'm here. Just a little break. Should post something later today or tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Verizon labor just caved and is going back to work without a contract. Are the painters going to follow? Hope not. These guys really get nothing for their sweat. At least the Verizon guys have full time employment and full benes.

Anonymous said...

What happened to this once-great country? We used to have jobs and products made in America; we used to have labor unions that (apart from the few exceptions) made sure that workers got a fair shake and were not just used as cheap, disposable labor. I don't like the road we've gone down. This is now the land of corporate greed and exploitation. We are no better than a third world country. I hate what has happened and what is happening to my beloved America and it is not creeping socialist, rather it is creeping fascism.

Anonymous said...

The quality of work done by these union painters is at best, substandard. Therefore, I have no problem with Rose on this issue although I did call to tell Rose to hold the line.

Anonymous said...

I think the painters would do a better job if they had decent paint to work with and were not hassled to complete an apartment single-handedly in one day. They have no option but to do a throw-the-paint-up-the-walls job as fast as they can. Only when apartments are being renovated can they work long hours and do a good job. When it is a tenant asking for a paint job it is a quick inandout job with no time to pay attention to the finer details that result in a good job.

Anonymous said...

The cheap, whitewash paint is nothing new. It's a tradition that dates back to old Mother Met.

As for the increased pressure on the painters to get in-and-out fast, well, that we can probably thank current management for...

Lux Living said...

I had a guy come and do some tile work in my bathroom last winter and he did great job. The tile in the window was buckling because water got underneath it. He not only replaced it, but he re-grouted the entire shower for me.

The longtime guys that have worked on my apartment the past decade have always done a good job, made no mess, and take pride in their work.

I'd rather have them in my place knowing I can trust them.

Anonymous said...

I can concur with Lux Living. I had them come and retile my bathroom a few years ago because the bathroom had a "wet wall" situation. There were two guys and it took two days (each did a different thing, but i can't remember what) and the tiles are still in place 6 years later. They were union guys and were very proud of the work they did and made no mess. I wrote to management at the time and expressed my admiration for the job they had done. I don't know if a non-union worker would even begin to know how to do such a good job.

Anonymous said...

You want a tile story? I got a tile story!

Pipe burst in the back bathroom two stories up. Long story short, the whole tub tile area had to be redone. They left the place a wreck for months! There was water everywhere. Soggy plaster, mildew and plastic hanging from the walls. It took months of harassing calls to get the job finished.

When they finally came in to do the work, it was done perfectly.

My guess is that the delay was management-related (TS at the time) but the work was probably union. I didn't ask to see their cards.

In my experience, the guys that show up to do the job are generally very conscientious, skilled but probably over-worked, given how stressed they seem to be. I have to give credit to management for the latter issue. I don't think it was the "tile guy" that decided to let the place rot for two months.

Anonymous said...

I had tile work done a couple of years ago because tiles were falling out all over the place. The workers, although pleasant enough, did a terrible job. The tiles were placed so close together that here is practically no grout in between them. The little grout there was has cracked and is missing to this day. Every time I shower water seeps through the groutless areas and gets into the walls. I cant imagine how bad that is for not only the person beneath me but also for the integrity of the wall. However, this crappy job is far better than any work the painters have done in my apartment in the last 20 years. Their work and their work ethic is atrocious. I used to tip the painters $50 to $100 depending on the job. Now I dont even offer them a drink their work is so poor.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I had the shower area retitled a few years ago, and the Stuy Town Italian tiler did an excellent job. My experience with painting of rooms has been mixed. Overall, a very good job, but the paint starts air bumping and cracking far too soon. I don't know, however, how this can improve with non-union painters.

Anonymous said...

I had a professional painter (non union) paint my apartment several years ago because of the shoddy work done by the ST painters and he was the first person to satisfactorily explain to me why ST apartments paint peels off in
1'x 1' patches. It seems that when ST was originally built after WWII there was a shortage of plaster so the builders mixed in lime. He explained that lime has a 50 year life span after which it starts to break down and turn to a powdery substance. So under all those layers of paint you have a powder that the paint cannot stick to. Therefore the peeling. He fixed the areas affected at the time and they have never peeled again. However, all the areas not affected then have been peeling ever since and since the ST painters don't know this or dont care they hurriedly patch small areas only to have the peeling begin almost immediately after they are done and I am stuck with it for 3 years until they come and botch the job again.

Lux Living said...

@anon 10:08

If that's true, it would explain why the two rooms in my apartment damaged by water need to be replastered and repainted every year or so like clockwork. I let the kitchen go for a few years until recently when the paint was coming off in 4 inch pieces. I couldn't be bothered with emptying the entire room AGAIN. It's so disruptive.

Same thing with the bathroom. They scraped and painted maybe 6-8 months ago and already it's cracking. When the bathroom flooded 5,6 years ago the water poured through the ceiling for almost 10 minutes. It was pretty major, the FDNY had to be called because the workers couldn't get that water turned off. It was a joke.

Anonymous said...

I dunno. Water damage is one thing. Faulty materials used in original construction is another.

I've lived through busted pipes and the associated aftermath but haven't had other plaster/paint problems. I don't think the lime issue is widespread. Can't say.

They use shitty paint but it seems to be just about good enuf. Just about. That said, the ceiling is falling down in my hallway. Nothing new. Started about two years ago. The guys who clean up just pick up the paint chips but never get it fixed.

Reminds me of those ads on the TV in the 70's about kids eating paint chips. Plenty of them around here in between vaccumings. I guess as long as they get the sign off at lease time, they're in the clear.

Anonymous said...

Unions are a pox on civilized society. I wish I had the money and free time to lounge around outside the leasing office the way these parasites do.