Strike Questions and Answers

GOING ON STRIKE

Why are we striking?

Members voted to authorize a strike and stand together in the fight to defend our pay and benefits. The negotiating committee will call a strike if we are unable to reach a satisfactory agreement with the employers.

How will I know if we are going on strike?

All 32BJ members should report to work at their usual time. If a strike is called at your building, a strike captain or Contract Action Team (CAT) member will be at the building to lead everyone out together to set up the picket lines.

Members who have provided the union with permission to send a text message to their cell phone will receive regular bargaining updates – including notice when the contract expires of a strike or tentative agreement. To sign up to receive information via text message, text 32BJNY to 787753. (Text 32BJNYSP to 787753 to receive text messages in Spanish.) Message and data rates may apply, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

I’ve never been on strike before, what is expected of me?

You will be expected to picket and participate in strike activities with your co-­workers. We must stand together to win a fair contract that gets all of us back to work. During the strike, your fellow union members will expect you NOT to work as an office cleaner in any building. Your strike captain or CAT member will let you know what the hours of picketing are and when specifically you are expected on the strike line.

What if my employer tells me not to work before my building is pulled out on the strike?

Call your strike captain or CAT right away.

What if my building wants to settle?

Whether to make settlement agreements with individual buildings before reaching a larger settlement with the RAB (the employers’ association) is a tactical decision made by our union’s president. If a representative from your building’s management asks about settling with the union, you should direct him or her to call the union’s strike hotline: 212‐388‐3850

What if I am still on probation?

The legal right to strike is no different for probationary employees than it is for long‐term employees. You have the same right to strike as all other employees. You should join the strike and the picketing.

Will there be strike pay?

In the event of an extended strike, eligibility for strike pay will begin the second week of a strike. Strike pay is not equal to lost wages. The union’s executive board will determine the amount of strike pay and eligibility. The policy on strike pay will be explained to members after the start of the strike.

BENEFITS WHILE ON STRIKE

What is the status of our benefits while we are on strike?

During a strike, health benefits for you and your family (if family members are covered) will continue for 30 days. Thereafter, you and your family members may be able to continue coverage under COBRA, a federal law, by making appropriate payments.

What if I have pre-­approved vacation scheduled during the time we are on strike?

Your employer should honor pre‐approved vacations that are scheduled during the period of the strike. If your employer attempts to refuse to pay you for your scheduled vacation, you should file a complaint with the 32BJ Contract and Grievance Center. If the strike is continuing when your vacation is over, you should join the strike and the picketing.

What if I am on an approved leave of absence? What is my status?

Your employer should honor approved leaves of absence that began before the strike. If your employer attempts to cancel your leave of absence, you should file a complaint with the 32BJ Contract and Grievance Center. If the strike is continuing when your leave is over, you should join the strike and the picketing.

PICKET LINES

What can I say to people making deliveries to my building, such as UPS drivers or others attempting to service my building like cable installers?

Picketers should approach and encourage delivery services to honor our picket line. You should attempt to persuade them to honor our line because they feel it is the right thing to do. Be sure that emergency medical personnel are able to enter the building.

You should report any scab activity to your strike captain or CAT.

What can we do about scabs?

Scabs are people who do union work during a strike. Our unity will make the difference in returning to work with a fair contract. Encourage any 32BJ union member trying to go to work during the strike to join the strike or honor the picket line.

Approach anyone hired by the building management to do our work to support our fight and honor our picket line.

What if police come to my picket line?

Under no circumstances should picketers engage in conduct that would result in arrests. Picketers should be friendly and never be confrontational with police officers.

However, if you or someone you are picketing with is arrested, you should notify (or ask someone to notify) your strike captain or CAT right away. If an arrest occurs, it is very important that someone on the picket line with you immediately record as much information as possible, including the arrested member(s) name, the precinct where the member was taken, the names of officers involved and witnesses to the event that led to the arrest.

For up‐to‐date contract and strike news:

  • Call the 32BJ Strike Hotline: 212-­388-­3850
  • Go to www.StandWithBuildingWorkers.org/NYM