Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rally Against Proposed Cuts Draws Thousands in New York by Jack Phillips- Epoch Times

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Several thousand union members rallied in front of the City Hall Wednesday, protesting Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposition to cut city workers.

Members from 99 unions around New York City showed up at the rally, which was organized by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO). Mayor Bloomberg's proposed budget makes cuts to firehouses, swimming pools, senior centers, schools, and day care centers. Approximately 1,500 jobs would be terminated under the proposal.

“We will not be victims, and we will not ever give back things that we worked so hard to get,” said Dennis Hughes, president of AFL-CIO New York.

Many of the unions' spokespersons claimed that the city and state officials have taken shots at union workers in an attempt to legitimize the cuts.

“Our elected officials have a moral obligation to do what it takes to ensure that the most damaging effects of this recession don't hurt our families, or play out in the classrooms, the firehouses, and the day care centers across our city,” said Jack Ahern, president of the New York City Central Labor Council.

“All we're asking for is our share—if they give us our share, we'll take care of the rest,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers.

Bloomberg has asserted that the cuts have to be made in order to close a $4.9 billion budget gap. Several weeks ago, he also said that he would not lay off approximately 4,500 teachers.

Many of Bloomberg's cuts are contingent upon state aid that may or may not be given to the city, pending the passage of the state budget.

Gov. David Paterson said that the state budget would get passed on June 28, more than 11 weeks after its original due date.

According to last month's report from the Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, the city's economy is poised to bounce back more slowly compared with previous recessions.