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Bed-Stuy Building Workers Protest Slashed Wages, Benefits

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On Thursday, a group of union protesters gathered outside the offices of Bushburg Properties in Borough Park in support of nine maintenance workers, after learning that the company would be cutting both their pay and benefits, Gothamist reports.

The protesting workers are employed at 1711 Fulton Street (also known as 88 Chauncey Street), a 79-unit rental building recently purchased by Bushburg for $38 million, according to The Real Deal. When Bushburg bought the property in March, the new management announced that maintenance workers would see their pay cut by $10/hour and the revocation of most benefits.

The group is affiliated with building service workers union 32BJ SEIU and has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. They are alleging that Bushburg's management company Vertices Holding Company has refused to negotiate terms of the new contract and have threatened workers affiliated with the union, with Ronnie Coppage (who's worked at 1711 Fulton for almost 40 years) saying he believes that Vertices is attempting to "strong-arm them out of their jobs." The workers also claim that they have been forced to work extra days per week with no overtime.

Under the terms of the new contract, workers would be making $12/hour, and would receive no pension, no health insurance, 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, and one week of vacation after a year of full-time employment.

The building itself is currently part of the Mitchell-Lama affordable housing program. However, with the building's obligations set to expire later this year, the new owners are set to perform extensive luxury renovations on the property.
· Bed-Stuy Maintenance Workers Say "Hip" Luxury Developer Is Trying To Force Them Out [Gothamist]
· Bushburg buys Bed-Stuy rental complex for $38M [TRD]
· All 32BJ SEIU coverage [Curbed]