New York, NY – Building service workers who had earned family sustaining wages and benefits helping to run 30 Wall Street are beginning the new year wondering what the heck just happened to their little piece of the American Dream after Colonnade Management introduced a new contractor and torpedoed their jobs.
Workers, some with a decade or more on the job, where informed through a “Dear Employee” flyer that Prime Cleaning Solutions was succeeding Delta Building Services at 30 Wall Street effective January 6, and that if they wanted to keep their jobs employees would have to be satisfied earning minimum wage and no benefits.
“Please advise us below whether you willl work for the new employer with this rate of pay with a no benefit structure,” the flyer reads. “In any event, if you stay employed, and accept our offer of employment, the rate of pay and benefit structure will be as outlined above.”
“I have a wife and a family and this means I can’t support them,” building engineer Christopher Negrinelli told LaborPress during a union demonstration held outside the tony address on Monday morning. “I can’t pay my mortgage. I can’t take my children to the doctor.”
The father of two commuted two hours each day from his home in Upstate, New York to 30 Wall Street — a trek Negrinelli said he never minded because he loved his job. Now, he’s being forced to look for a new one in an an economy where, despite rosy unemployment figures, has become rife with junk jobs offering insufficient wages and non-existent benefits.
“It’s really unfair to me and my family because he’s the one that supports us financially — without him we wouldn’t have a home,” 15-year-old Emily Negrinelli said. “I think it’s not right. They should not have done that in the first place.”
Colonnade Management has not responded to LaborPress’ requests for comment, but the practice of bringing in “bottom feeder” contractors that pay employees junk wages and benefits has become all too common. In fact, the US Department of Labor under the Trump administration, has just made it easier for companies to pull this kind of stunt, absolving themselves from the actions of their hired contractors and leaving workers high and dry.
“It just boggles my mind how they can do this to people that have been working here so long,” Rocco Ferrigno, IUOE Local 94 Downtown business representative told LaborPress. “To tell these poor guys that they’re out of work unless they want to work for $15 an hour — not even a third of what they’re making now without benefits — It doesn’t make any sense at all.”
The union is calling on Colonnade Management to discuss Prime Cleaning Solutions’ business practices.
“I haven’t slept [since learning about Prime Cleaning Solutions],” Negrinelli said. “The only thing I care about is food and shelter. I’m not looking for anything fancy. I’m looking for a home.”