Yonkers union members demand fair contracts, full benefits

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Michael Florida, who is part of the SEIU Local 32BJ union, says he’s good at his job and that until recently his job has been good to him.

Florida was part of a rally Wednesday with other union members in Yonkers who are demanding fair contracts and full benefits. The union members have been without benefits after almost a year of contract negotiations.

Florida, who has been a union member for three decades, says he went to the doctor one day to get his prescription and was told his benefits weren’t active.  This is because on Sept. 20, 2018, 32BJ’s contract with Alscot Realty, which owns a number of buildings in Yonkers, expired.

He says he was able to get his membership back briefly after a battle with the federal Department of Labor, but now it's months later and contract negotiations are still ongoing.

The union workers’ contract with Alscot Realty ended almost a year ago, but Aug. 1 is when their health insurance coverage was cut off - making contract negotiations now more crucial.

Florida says he and other union members rely heavily on their union benefits.

"Especially when you have type 2 diabetes and you're walking around and the medicine costs $1,500," he says.

The unions have also gotten the attention of local officials.

"Health insurance is our fundamental right that everyone is entitled to,” says Yonkers City Council President Mike Khader. "When you cut off health insurance, you're affecting entire members and families and that's unacceptable."

News 12 reached out to both the realty company and building management, but has not heard back yet.


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