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Office cleaners, security guards fight back after pay cuts and firings

Posted 7/5/24

A group of unionized office cleaners who had their benefits stripped and wages cut in half rallied outside of their midtown workplace Wednesday, looking to pressure their contractor and the building’s owner to honor their union contract.

The building at 529 Fifth Ave., just north of Bryant Park, was purchased in spring 2023 for $105 million by Empire Capital Holdings, a commercial real estate firm run by two cousins who have purchased several properties in Midtown since 2020. Through their subsidiary Fifth City Realty LLC, the owners a few weeks ago notified the workers’ union, Service Employees International Union Local 32BJ, that they would be switching the building’s cleaning contractor, union officials said.

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