Negotiations continue between maintenance workers and building owners

Maintenance workers from hundreds of apartments and co-op buildings in Westchester County are threatening to go on strike, and after much deliberation, talks between the union and building owners seem to be making progress. Both sides are going back to the bargaining table Friday, hoping to avoid a strike that could cause significant problems for thousands of county residents.For the second straight day, the two sides are at Antun's restaurant in Elmsford, just off the Saw Mill River Parkway. There is reportedly some movement on both sides, and proposals are being traded back and forth. However, if the standoff is not resolved by Friday's end, the union says they will walk off the job. If a strike were to occur, it would begin on Monday. Basic services such as garbage pick up would not get done, and about 600 buildings in Westchester would be affected.The main sticking point is the issue of medical benefits. The workers say their existing health plan is not sufficient, and in the event of a medical catastrophe, their benefits would be used up immediately. Currently the workers, including doormen, security and janitorial staff have a $50,000 cap on medical benefits and a $2,500 cap on prescriptions.

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