NewYork-Presbyterian sees backlash over ties to furniture company

One of the nation's top academic medical centers is getting mentioned in a dispute between an office furniture company and the Teamsters union.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital is the largest client of Waldner's Business Environments, a longstanding New York-based office furniture dealership. Waldner's did not renegotiate its contract with Teamsters Local 814 when it expired June 30. Instead, the company closed a warehouse where all unionized employees worked and reallocated delivery services to subcontractors.

The company claims 20 full-time employees were affected, while the union claims 20 full-time and 20 part-time employees were affected, according to the New York Daily News. Teamsters Local 814 represented Waldner's employees for nearly 50 years

On Tuesday, Teamsters moved its target toward NewYork-Presbyterian. The union criticized the medical center for accepting deliveries from Waldner's despite the labor conflict, and a city official also chimed in.

"In New York City, we value companies that treat workers with respect. Waldner's is showing that it does not share those values," City Council Member Mark Levine said in the release. "NewYork-Presbyterian should drop Waldner's and use an office furniture company that rewards its long term employees instead of replacing them."

"This is related to a labor dispute between Waldner's and the Teamsters union," a NewYork-Presbyterian spokesperson told Becker's via email Tuesday. "The hospital is not involved and is operating normally."

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