Union members from 32BJ SEIU and workers for the Queens-based real estate development firm Ciampa Organization rallied outside its Flushing headquarters on Wednesday, protesting the recent firing of two doormen who allege they were terminated after initiating efforts to unionize.
Kevin and Andres Galarza were working as doormen for the luxury Long Island City development Packard Square on Crescent Street for nine months when they approached their supervisor with a list of workers who supported joining the 32BJ union.
“My supervisor came up to me and said he received a call from the owner of the company who told him that they didn’t want me and my brother to work for him anymore,” said Andres Galarza.
The protestors were also calling for an increase in the $8.75 hourly wage paid to residential workers at Ciampa’s Packard Square development. They said that the complex receives a 421 tax abatement from the city, which mandates workers are paid a higher wage, around $22 an hour.
After the rally the two brothers, along with 32BJ union members, went to Ciampa’s penthouse offices and submitted a formal complaint, asking that they receive their jobs back and that the workers’ hourly wages be increased to the $22. Ciampa has yet to issue a statement, and interview requests went unreturned.