Porters reassigned to cover more buildings

Chris Silvera, secretary/treasurer of Teamsters 808, which represents ST/PCV's porters, maintenance men and gardeners

Chris Silvera, secretary/treasurer of Teamsters 808, which represents ST/PCV’s porters, maintenance men and gardeners

By Sabina Mollot

Porters employed in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village recently learned that as of Monday, July 27, their schedules would be changed so that many of those who’d been working Monday to Friday would have to now work weekends, and on weekends, see their duties increased to cover three buildings instead of the standard two.

Brian Moriarty, speaking on behalf of CompassRock, said the redistribution of porters was to make more of them available when the demand for their services is the highest.

“To better serve the community, we are shifting some porters’ schedules to provide more janitorial coverage during the weekend when more of our residents are home,” he explained.

But one porter, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said making one person responsible for three buildings on any given day was going to lead to less clean buildings.

“We can’t do the kind of work they want us to do with three buildings, clean the stairwells, the roofs, the pipes,” he said.

The worker, who’d previously worked Monday to Friday, said some days he’ll have to clean two buildings, but other days three, and it’s always going to be three on Saturdays and Sundays. “That ruins a lot of weekends,” he said. “It’s the only time you spend with your kids and family.”

He added that no additional pay will be earned for working weekends, because they’ll still have two days off, which will now be during the week.

CompassRock’s rep also denied rumors that there would be layoffs and that the porters would be assigned to different buildings each week instead of working in the same buildings all the time as they had been.

“It is not true that anyone will be laid off or that porters will be in different buildings each week. After this initial shift, the buildings will be consistent,” he said.

Chris Silvera, the secretary/treasurer of the porters’ union, Teamsters 808, agreed with the porter who said it would lead to a decline in the quality of service.

“The question is does this improve service for the tenants? The answer is no,” said Silvera. He recalled how years ago, there were extra part-time porters who came in on weekends. On the new schedule, he added, “It in no way gives anything to the tenants except the perception that there are more porters, but that is a perception.”

Susan Steinberg, the Tenants Association president, said neighbors should alert the TA if they notice any changes in building maintenance.

“While on the face of it, it is commendable that management is shifting staff to better serve the community on weekends, tenants need to be vigilant about whether building conditions are maintained, improved, or deteriorate as a result of such shuffling, and let the Tenants Association know,” she said. “Clearly, with more people home on weekends, a buildup of items in the recycling room is inevitable ― and often concerning due to the possibility of fire or bedbug hazards.”

Steinberg added that she thought other maintenance issues also needed to be addressed.

“Non-emergency plumbing that takes seven to ten days for servicing, for example, is a hot item just now,” she said. “One would hope management will consider some shifting of plumbing staff in the same way they are shifting porters.”

6 thoughts on “Porters reassigned to cover more buildings

  1. What about the reduction of known people in our buildings? Some of these porters have worked in the buildings for years and add an extra layer of security by knowing the tenants and who frequently comes in and out of the builings. Expecting these porters to move to different buildings will in no way make me feel better about who is in the building and I don’t expect a cleaner building either.

    Moving porters between buildings and increasing their workload which is already a great amount of work will likely lead to less consistency and knowledge of the buildings that they work in.

    Furthermore, these are hardworking individuals who have families and lives. Why didn’t Compass Rock inquire about who might want weekend shifts (hopefully with more pay) and who wants to stay on their current schedules. It seems like there were better options all around that could have been chosen, but as always, CompassRock does what’s best and easiest for them without thinking through the consequences from a tenants perspective.


    I have written many times about how the management du jour has evolved affordable housing into supposedly luxury apartments by raising rents for new tenants more three times.

    But, when talking to people who work at PCV/ST in all areas, the reactions is unanimous: they are increasing the hours of work and using contracting companies so as to pay them less than the former workers who were employed by management.

    Greed knows no bounds: either by more than tripling the rental charges or paying the workers less.

    All these moves are congruent with the shrinking of the middle class in this nation.

  3. Just don’t recycle. That will make less work for the porters. Most of the stuff that goes in the recycling bins is filthy and attracts bugs. It’s better that it all goes into the compactor.

  4. Compass Rock are the greediest bloodsuckers on the planet. That said, we have so many more people packed into the buildings since the property became a student dorm. They should hire more porters instead of giving more work to the existing porters. SMFH.

  5. I know this is not related and Compass Rock sucks for doing what they are doing to the porters…just wanted you all to know that they have “exhausted” their pot of fools to rent here in the USA and are now reaching overseas…recent tours of the grounds were always with foreigners, specifically french, german, etc…

  6. CWC/CR are in this to make money. Yes, it unfortunately means that it is at the expense of the tenants.

    The real problem here lies in the TA. They are supposed to be the voice of the community. What do we hear???? Steinberg agreeing with this decision!

    These porters are people who have good relationships with the people in their buildings (for the most part), and relied on holiday tips. At this point, most of us wont even have a chance to know the person taking over, and I certainly wont tip as much as I would the person that I have known for years. Shame on you TA for not fighting this.

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