(1000+ posts) Mon Jul-18-11 08:07 PM
Rahm is now privatizing city services to break Chicago unions.
Edited on Mon Jul-18-11 08:11 PM by Chimichurri
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is sending layoff notices to about 625 city of Chicago employees — and delaying 61 blocks of curb and gutter improvements and 76 blocks of sidewalk repairs — after union leaders didn’t agree to work-rule changes the mayor wants or offer alternate ways to cut costs by a deadline Friday.
The layoffs — which Emanuel said will save roughly $12 million — target 75 percent cut of the Chicago Department of Transportation’s “seasonal” workforce, as well as custodians at O’Hare Airport, Midway Airports and the city’s public libraries; and workers who run the city’s water-bill call center and manage city benefits.
The transportation department layoffs will be begin immediately. As a result, city curb and gutter repairs are being put off until next year.
Custodial services, benefits management and the water-bill call center will be privatized
after 30- and 45-day layoff notices go out.
(Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge) Ramirez insisted there have been “no negotiations over work-rule changes — period” with local unions whose members would be impacted by those salary-shaving changes.
Henry Bayer, executive director of AFSCME Council 31, agreed that neither the mayor nor his representatives have made any attempt to meet with his union to negotiate specific changes.
“If the mayor were serious ... he would have taken the appropriate measures to engage in such discussions. The fact that he has never done so is clear evidence that this attempt to blame union work rules for the city’s massive deficit is public relations gimmickry,” Bayer said a statement.
He added, “We are surprised and disappointed at Mayor Emanuel’s scattershot approach to the city’s budget shortfall. We are particularly disappointed that most of his bullets are aimed at frontline employees who do the real work of city government.”