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.

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