Crain’s New York: ‘Millionaire’ home visits add to Wall Street protests

Supporters planning to march to Upper East Side homes of some of city's richest residents on Tuesday. On Wednesday, giant union SEIU 32BJ plans march to Wall Street for good jobs

-By Daniel Massey

October 10, 2011- Planned back-to-back protests on Tuesday and Wednesday by some of the city's most seasoned agitators will look to build on the energy of the Occupy Wall Street movement to advance union campaigns by workers across the five boroughs.

The coalition of labor, community and advocacy groups that organized last week's 15,000-person march to support the protest in lower Manhattan is planning a “Millionaires March” for Tuesday afternoon that will visit homes of some of the city's wealthiest residents. JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, billionaire businessman David Koch, financier Howard Milstein, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch and hedge fund maven John Paulson are all expected to receive visits at their homes.

The march, put together by the Working Families Party, New York Communities for Change, Strong Economy for All and United NY, will call for an extension of the state millionaire's tax, which is set to expire at the end of the year. The march kicks off from 59th Street and Fifth Avenue and is expected to draw protesters from the three-and-a-half week old Wall Street protest out of their encampment in lower Manhattan to the tony Upper East Side.

“There's a lot of interest on all sides in connecting the various struggles here to the movement down there,” said Jon Kest, executive director of New York Communities for Change.

On Wednesday, the largest private sector union in the country, SEIU 32BJ, will try its hand. It is expecting thousands of property service workers and other union members to march on the Financial District in a call for good jobs. The march will kick off 32BJ's campaign for a new contract for 25,000 commercial office building cleaners to replace one that expires Dec. 31. Workers at art auctioneer Sotheby's, who have been locked out for more than two months; as well as Verizon workers, who are campaigning for a new contract, are expected to join the march, according to organizers.

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