Layoffs Threat Leaves LA Workers Questioning Past Concessions

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — City employees were incensed on Friday as the prospect of potentially widespread layoffs moved one step closer to reality after a stark warning from the mayor.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports a $220 million shortfall in city finances could ratchet up the financial pressure on already-squeezed municipal workers.

The announcement by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Thursday that the city would be forced to “lay off a large number of employees” has left general services and clerical workers shaken up.

One man said he would take job security over a bigger paycheck any day.

“Would you rather have a job with the wages that you earn now or no job at all?” he said. “For all intents and purposes, you would rather be employed with your current salary.”

Cheryl Parisi, Executive Director of AFSCME Local 36, which represents over 9,000 city workers, called the layoffs “unconscionable” and said she wonders whether the total givebacks in wages and benefits totaling $847 million in recent years were of any real value.

With the debate over specific budget numbers expected to being in April, city employees will likely have to seriously review their personal finance plans.

“People are hurting, everybody’s crunching numbers and money as it is, so yeah, I believe it’ll be a big discussion,” said one worker.

More from Pete Demetriou
  • Alan Hart

    The unions create the problems then cry when the city can’t pay their extorted wages and pensions. Civil Servants have no business being represented by unions.

  • LB

    I am a long time City employee and have seen a lot of financial shenanigans courtesy of Mayor Teflon Tony during his misadministration. By far this is the most egregious slap in the face yet. It’s hard to believe this man was a union organizer at one time and has so completely turned his back on the workers. We’d like to know precisely what happened to the over $874 million in savings realized by the austerity programs Villaraigosa. And also why the cutbacks do not apply to his staff and those of his cronies such as Santana. Each and every department of the City (save the Mayor’s staff) is short staffed due to his programs. In many cases the business of the City is simply not getting done in a timely manner or getting done at all. This is not due to lazy union employees as some characterize City workers. It is due to not having enough staff to do the work. He has targeted several City departments for severe budget cuts due to “issues” he has with them. These “issues” are obviously of a somewhat personal nature. It’s well know in the City that you don’t kowtow to Teflon Tony your department suddenly finds itself embroiled in massive budget cuts. This occurred in particular with the City Attorney’s Office. How on earth is the City to attract “the best and the brightest” when you treat the employees with such disdain and utter disrespect. I have served the taxpayers proudly for many years and have been, always will be, thankful for having been given the opportunity to serve them to the best of my abilities. It is an honor. I am also thankful to the taxpayers for putting bread on my table to feed my family and have had no problem with having my hours cut. To me, it’s a way of giving back to them. Particularly in these bad times. I only wish the Mayor felt the same way. It’s very sad that at first we thought his administration would be a breath of fresh air for the City. Unfortunately, the wind direction has changed from the direction of Villaraigosa’s office and the only smell noticeable is that which comes from an outhouse door left open. Aahh, Tony, it’s the Sweet Smell of Success you wear so well as if it were an expensive aftershave.

    • Truth Hurts

      Too bad the cities racial makeup is too stupid to understand the reality and will stricktly vote on the basis of color…He knows that so why should he even care? Corruption, filth and poverty…It’s the Mexican way. Racist comment? Ask your self why L.A. looks more and more like Tiujana every day?

      You can call me a racist all you want, but you can’t call me a liar…..

  • Ray

    TRUTH HURTS I’ll give you an Amen on that you are 100% correct.

  • Corruption

    The article says that the layoffs threat “has left general services and clerical workers shaken up”. but they do not have to worry about layoffs. The mayor is going to lay off hospital workers, cops, emergency units and other people who are actually important because than the mayor can say “Look we need more tax money or nurses, cops, emergency unit workers will be laid off.”
    This is just a scam to scare the public into giving more money to the mayor.

    And if he does actually layoff all the useless general and clerical workers than good! They do not deserve million dollar pensions. That is just crazy!!!

  • pacpalham

    the 7 million lost in gasoline over the last few years would probably have saved some jobs

  • Bob

    You just don’t understand !! LA is the 2nd most corrupt city in the country . Don’t you want us to become # 1 ???

  • Daniel Vaughn

    Mayor Tony Villar needs to quit catering to the illegals and take care of the City of Los Angeles and it’s employees. The illegals don’t pay taxes but use services such schooling, medical, housing etc.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Sandwich Generation

Listen Live