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Turtle Bay Dealing With Trash Pileup As Doormen Strike Continues

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A tidy neighborhood on Manhattan's East Side is seeing the dirty side of union negotiations. With doormen on strike, the streets of Turtle Bay are stuck in a stinky situation.

Trash bags are stacked more than 6 feet high and 20 feet long, festering on the normally pristine stretch of the neighborhood.

Doormen working at the luxury building located at 350 East 52nd St., are on strike and city sanitation workers won't cross their picket line to pick up the trash. Many tenants are also supporting their fight and the expanding sign of solidarity.

"This is testament. This is a mountain of our landlord's selfishness and greed," tenant Kirk Swanson told CBS 2's Hazel Sanchez.

"I think unions are important. They walk all over you, these owners, if you don't have union," tenant Anna Caruso said.

Despite mattresses, furniture, and piles upon piles of smelly, leaking garbage, a spokesperson for the Department of Sanitation confirmed there is an active strike and its workers will continue to let the garbage pile grow until the doormen get a contract or the Department of Health orders the agency to clean up the mess.

"I'm hoping it will continue to grow because it's a sign of what they're facing. They're facing a stinking, rotten situation. That's not going away," another tenant said.

The building's owner, William Koeppel, said he has called the Health Department about the garbage, too. Koeppel said he is negotiating with the doormen's union and hopes to reach an agreement soon so everyone can get back to work.

The Health Department is looking to see if the garbage piles must be removed immediately.  In the meantime, residents are left holding their breath.

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