Strike at Co-op City Creating ‘Mountains of Trash’


A strike at the largest cooperative housing development in the world is threatening to cripple the daily life of its 50,000-odd residents. More than 500 union janitors, groundskeepers, and parking attendants — which is about half of the staff at the sprawling 35-building network — are on strike at Co-op City. But even though the complex generates some 40 tons of garbage every day that is currently being left unattended to build into veritable “mountains,” residents seem to generally be siding with the striking workers, according to the Times. Because Co-op City was built in the seventies for middle-income, working-class families, the prevailing sentiment is that the interests of the unions — in this case Local 32BJ — should come before those of the management company, the RiverBay Corporation. The strike is over disputed wage protocols and a health-care change that RiverBay hopes to enforce on the union. “We have to be sympathetic to the workers because we are workers ourselves,” 84-year-old retired postal worker Vincent Matthews told the paper. “I’m not with management when it comes to guys standing out here.”

At Co-op City, Trash Piles Up as Workers Go on Strike [NYT]