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Last night’s Park Avenue rally by doormen and other apartment building workers drew about 7,000 marchers according to the NYPD, yet it sometimes felt more like a team-building event than a simmering revolution.
Wearing black-and-purple union baseball caps, many workers brought their families along, which added to the largely peacable vibe. They blew union-issued whistles and waved signs that protested “givebacks” and demanded a fair contract when their current one expires next week.
BrickUnderground's Shari Gab documented the event with a slide show capturing the marchers' emotions as they wended past the cherry-blossomed trees and limestone facades of a prime Upper East Side neighborhood.
An on-the-spot account by broker-blogger Andrew J. Fine paints a somewhat more dramatic portrait:
"A rowdy, surreal, and festive atmosphere was evident on ritzy Park Avenue this evening as thousands of building workers marched and rallied to 83rd street and Park Avenue. Helicopters whirled overhead as spontaneous chants broke out and workers mobbed any available tv camera to plea their case. Soul music was blaring in the streets in front of New York City's most expensive prewar coops. For an hour or two at least, thousands of the 30,000 plus strong union owned Park Avenue. Folks were fired up and as one worker, Miguel told me, 'a strike is 90 percent.'"
Yesterday's march triggered a flurry of news coverage (below) marked by an absence of hints as to how negotiations are going. Stay tuned.
- Doormen rally while Park Avenue residents deal with elevators (Curbed)
- City doormen rally as strike threat looms (NY1)
- Thousands mach and rally for building workers 32BJ SEIU (A Fine Blog)
- Doormen stop traffic on Park Avenue to protest contract negotiations (DNA Info)
- Negotiations seek to avert a strike by doormen next week (NY Times)
BrickUnderground's 2010 Strike Coverage