May 2, 2011
Members of four of the unions representing Los Angeles city workers voted against concessions demanded by the city – including a 4% pay cut and the freezing of scheduled pay raises. In response, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa threatened to impose 42 unpaid furlough days on the 6,300 workers, a 16% pay cut.
Los Angeles has already been imposing unpaid furlough days on its workers for the last two years.
Trying to get approval for this latest set of concessions, city officials made promises – guaranteeing workers healthcare coverage after they retire, for example. But many workers were skeptical. Street services worker Dan Mariscal said: “We gave concessions. We were promised the same thing in 2009, when they said we would have shared sacrifice, and they didn’t follow through on what they promised.”
Many workers were also skeptical about the officials’ claim that the city has no money. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants to give prime city land in downtown and large subsidies to one of the wealthiest real estate developers in the world so he can have a new football stadium.
So workers voted No. They need to keep on refusing with the only language the bosses’ understand.