The owners of more than 3,200 apartment buildings in New York City reached an agreement on a new labor contract with the union that represents about 30,000 doormen, porters, janitors and building superintendents, averting a strike that was due to begin at 7 a.m. Wednesday.Had the strike happened, the consequences would have been unthinkable:
The agreement headed off what would have been the first strike by the doormen since a walkout in 1991 that lasted 12 days and left garbage piling up in front of some buildings where doormen were picketing. If the doormen and other service workers had gone on strike, residents of the affected buildings would have had to perform their own chores, like sorting mail, screening visitors, hauling garbage out to the curb and operating elevators.Although I have poked some fun at how New Yorkers bitterly cling to their doormen, these people perform a valuable service which allows New Yorkers to avoid unpleasant tasks and keep out the riffraff.
Two additional points.
First, I don't like the term "doorman" because it is not gender neutral. From now on, we will refer to "door people" or "door person" when talking about
Second, we should recognize the right to a door person as a fundamental right for anyone living in a major city.
The government should subsidize the cost of door people for middle and lower-income buildings, and impose a surtax on wealthy buildings. In 2010, no one should go without a door person.
We could call such legislation The Apartment Protection and Affordable Door Person Act.
Clinging Bitterly To Their Doormen
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