STRIKE THREAT

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FYI: An ongoing labor dispute heated up Wednesday as workers at the central Bronx health and substance abuse services organization Promesa staged a lunchtime demonstration to demand that Chief Executive Officer Ruben Medina grant them the same health and pension benefit package that members of their union, Local 1199, receive at other community based clinics. Promesa’s 241 union workers have been without a contract since last June, and many vowed to strike if management does not agree to the relatively generous benefit package. Medina argues Promesa’s own package rivals that of the union and does so more cost effectively. The union plan would cost Promesa about 26 percent more than it’s compensating its workers now, according to the union, but staff argue their employer can afford it: In 2001, according to the most recent figures available, Medina received compensation of $330,355, and chairman Carlos Nazario made $218,000. [5/16/03]