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To the Barricades!

Who’s going to strike next?

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The stagehands’ strike is over, but television and movie writers still picket at Rockefeller Center, and at least four more major strikes could hit the city in the next few months. Is New York turning into Paris? A dossier:


Workers: Cleaning staff at 2,300 office buildings in the city, including just about every major tower in Manhattan.
Demands: Money. Employees currently make under $20 per hour, the union says.
Risk to civilians: Dirty offices.
Status: The contract expires at the end of the year. The two sides are negotiating.
Strike? “Based on what we’ve seen so far there’s no reason to think there’s a settlement at hand,” says a union rep.



Workers: East Coast Verizon workers from operators to technicians, about 10,000 in the city.
Demands: Access to “the jobs of the future” for union members.
Risk to civilians: Hope your landline doesn’t die while repairmen are out.
Status: Contract expires in August 2008, but both sides agreed to start talking now.
Strike? “There will be no strike before the contract expires in August,” says an otherwise tight-lipped union rep.



Workers: 500 CBS News writers, half in NYC.
Demands: With no increase since ’04, the union wants fair raises. CBS wants the right to use more non-union workers.
Risk to civilians: Katie & Co., unscripted.
Status: No contract since 2005; union voted to authorize a strike last month.
Strike? “Our hope is that [the strike vote] will bring CBS back to the negotiating table,” says a union rep. “But a strike is an option, and a real option.”



Workers: Aramark-employed cafeteria workers in 45 office buildings.
Demands: Job security and wages. At the New York Life HQ, the union says, a reduced staff makes less than $15 per hour on average.
Risk to civilians: McDonald’s.
Status: Strikes already at New York Life HQ and 55 Water Street. More contracts expire soon. “We may have to take similar measures,” says a union rep.
Strike? It’s on.

Have good intel? Send tips to intel@nymag.com.


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