Workers’ World Today is a free publication that empowers all workers, regardless of social or political affiliations. Distributed throughout New York City, our paper has a mission to educate workers and provide them with relevant information pertinent to the workforce such as workers’ compensation, discrimination on the job, workers’ rights, and more.
With the clock ticking for 22,000 municipal workers whose jobs are hanging by a thread, some of New York City‘s top labor leaders and their members gathered for a rally Thursday in Foley Square to send a message to city and state leaders that essential workers are not expendable workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has apparently left city coffers more than $9 billion in the red. Without a federal bailout from the HEROES Act or help from Albany by allowing long-term borrowing, the Mayor has turned to layoffs — the typical fallback plan when no one wants to think outside the box, according to union leaders.
“Now that the mayor needs to cut expenses and find a way to balance his budget, the same municipal workers that he once deemed ‘essential’ will now be deemed ‘expendable’ and are about to find their jobs on the chopping block,” said Joe Puleo, President of Local 983 and organizer of the rally. “This is unacceptable. We are talking about up to 22,000 workers, some of whom earn barely earn enough to support their families as it is.”
“DC 37 members stayed the course on the frontlines of our city‘s response in the darkest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is unconscionable for the City to propose laying off 22,000 city employees, disrupting the lives of thousands of essential workers and their families while cutting services to the public,“ said Henry Garrido, Executive Director of DC 37, the city‘s largest public employee union. “The proposed layoffs are morally reprehensible to the everyday heroes who have put it all on the line. Our essential workers are not expendable!“
Dozens of unions, hundreds of members, and pro-labor politicians all gathered for the rally as the city postponed sending out layoff notices while speaking with union leaders.