BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Union workers at a state-subsidized Bed-Stuy apartment complex called on developers and new management to restore their wages and benefits.
Four porters and handymen from 1711 Fulton St. — who are members of SEIU 32BJ — rallied in front of Bushburg Properties headquarters in Kensington on Thursday to protest a nearly 50 percent pay cut and alleged harassment from their new bosses.
“It’s rough trying to get through paying the bills and taking care of your kids,” said Gary Sparrow, a porter who has worked at the property for 16 years.
“The harassment is very intense and they belittle us, but we don’t say anything because we want to keep the jobs and what little money we’re making.”
Workers said the trouble began on March 2, when Vertices Holdings LLC took over management of the four buildings. The changeover occurred after developer Bushburg picked up the 287-unit complex from E&M Associates for $38 million.
Following the switch, the nine SEIU 32BJ union workers saw their wages slashed and their health care benefits eliminated.
Employees said management representatives constantly threaten to fire them and regularly curse at workers.
Vertices and Bushburg did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The employees garnered support from nearly 20 union members at Thursday’s rally, including workers from Flatbush Gardens.
In 2010, landlords locked out the Flatbush employees after they refused to take a pay cut of up to 40 percent, according to the Daily News. A judge ended the 16-month lockout and ordered the landlord back to the bargaining table for a new contract.
32BJ SEIU is following similar action with 1711 Fulton St., filing unfair labor practices charges against Vertices through the National Labor Relations Board.
The union alleges that new management has refused to recognize the agency and bargain with them, according to documents.
Workers rallied against Vertices Holdings principal Abraham Hoffman on Thursday, calling him out for his “hip” developments in Brooklyn.
“The treatment of these workers is unjust and inhumane,” 32BJ Secretary-Treasurer Kyle Bragg said in a statement.
“Mr. Hoffman is making his mark in Brooklyn and we urge him to take a stand for good middle-class jobs for residential workers so that they can continue to live in the borough with their families.”