The Doorman Strike: Media Predictably Goes Class Warfare
The main points of discord, according to the media, appear as follows:
1) Union members are asked to contribute 10 percent of their medical insurance payments.
2) There is no pension plan for new hires.
3) There has been a reduction of sick days from 10 to 5.
All the familiar stuff. Everybody’s in a depression; everybody should pitch in, which of course is never the unions’ position. After all, what good is a crisis if you can’t profit from it, right?
Indeed. OK, chalk this one up for paranoia: For twenty years the Realtor Board and the Local have found ways to accommodate each other without bankrupting the former or starving the latter. But in the year 2010, SEIU President Andy Stern is a bosom buddy of another president -- and is leaving his job soon. Is there a better way to show his street cred than to stage a Big Strike in the Big Apple?
Here’s the funny stuff the NYT seems to be getting after all: the Park Avenue oligarchs and their doormen are a presumptive Republican façade. I don’t poll fellow tenants, but from my occasional chats in the laundry room I strongly doubt there is a Republican in the building.
So if there is a pattern where SEIU follows the administration’s policies, it’s “kick the ally.” And why not? At our co-op we shall carry on, taking turns running the creakiest elevator you have ever seen, postponing the laundry, meeting delivery men outside (they would not cross the picket line), hauling our garbage fifteen floors down ... and I doubt one of my fellow tenants will blame Mr. O and the climate of class warfare he encourages.
The Messiah is above suspicion. Spread the wealth and carry your garbage.
Finally, one more plaudit for the Times piece. (Who knows if there will be another chance?) At least they had the decency to end on this note:
Mr. Ramos, 47, who lives in the Bronx, was a doorman for 20 years in an Upper West Side building, so he sympathized with the workers. But he added that he thought the union should accept a one-year pay freeze rather than walking out. In 1991, he said, the pay they lost during the strike canceled out much of the raises they eventually received. … “Let’s just hope it doesn’t happen. It’s going to be an inconvenience for everybody.”
I do suspect that more than one Times employee will have to take the stairs this week. We are in this together, after all.