1,500 Laid Off on Chicago's Pink Friday

By Peggy Cassidy and Zach Christman
|  Saturday, Jun 13, 2009  |  Updated 9:59 AM CDT
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Who's To Blame for City Layoffs?

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About 1,500 Chicago city workers may be joining the ranks of the unemployed very soon.

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1,500 City Union Workers Notified of Layoffs

With no compromise between unions and the city, 1,500 people are being notified they'll lose their jobs.

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Layoff notices went out from City Hall today, with 1,500 union jobs on the chopping block.

On Thursday, the Sun-Times reported, union leaders boycotted an 11th-hour appeal by Mayor Daley for shared sacrifice over job cuts.  Daley put the blame for the 400 more layoffs than originally expected squarely on the unions' shoulders.

Daley characterized this week's City Hall meeting boycotted by union leaders as the "last opportunity" to stave off layoff notices.

But he's hoping the harsh reality of pink slips -- along with a letter from the mayor -- will convince labor to swallow the concept of shared sacrifice. 

"I understand that, in these very difficult economic times, people do not want to take days off without pay or make any other concessions. But unless everyone pitches in by giving something, some of our colleagues are going to lose their jobs and I don't want that to happen," the mayor said Thursday.

The layoffs take effect July 15.  It's possible that between now and then, the unions could find a way to compromise with the city to at least reduce the number of job losses.

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