While the city of L.A. reels from a gaping $212 million budget hole, unionized city employees still aren’t willing to be exposed to the economic reality that most other Americans are subject to.
This is why California is in deep trouble:
The crisis has put Villaraigosa, a former labour activist, squarely at odds with unions that represent 98 per cent of L.A.’s municipal work force, which in turn accounts for 80 per cent of the city budget.
Villaraigosa said last week he will propose the elimination of 1,200 to 2,000 city government jobs in next year’s budget, on top of 1,000 positions the mayor last week ordered to be cut over the next few months.
He also has suggested that large layoffs could be avoided if the unions were willing to accept pay cuts.
“If everybody took a 5 per cent cut, it would add $150 million to the general fund,” the mayor said on Thursday at an event sponsored by the local business leaders. Union officials have bristled at those proposals.
“We find it ironic that at the same time Congress is debating a jobs bill, the mayor of one of the largest cities in the country is talking about laying off 3,000 people,” said Barbara Maynard, spokeswoman for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions. “The last thing Los Angeles or any city needs is to have more people on the unemployment line.”
The last thing the city needs is to keep paying massive expenses it can’t afford. It’s not fair to call any financial arrangement a ‘job’ if your employer A) doesn’t want to pay you and B) by paying you, moves one step closer to bankruptcy. Thus these unions aren’t protecting jobs in the economically-productive sense. They’re simply protecting their little walled handout fortress blind to the fact that its foundation can’t support their weight.
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