Labor Leaders Meet With City to Discuss Layoffs

Local labor leaders on Monday met with the city for the first time since Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans Friday to lay off 625 workers.

Though no specific efficiencies were pinpointed to reach Emanuel's targeted $10 million in budget savings, no layoff notices went out yet either.

"We do believe there are efficiencies that can be realized, and we are willing to work with other unions and with the city to ensure that's realized," said Henry Bayer, executive director of AFSCME Council 31.

But AFSCME doesn't want union workers' jobs to be the means to that end, Bayer said. "There's no need to lay off one city employee," he said. "The workforce in this city has been reduced substantially."

AFSCME said it would continue talks with the city. The group is working with the Chicago Federation of Labor to conduct a study to pinpoint ways to save money.

No further meeting was scheduled, and Chicago Federation of Labor President Jorge Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} Ramirez said he wouldn't give an estimation about when the labor proposals would be complete. He said the goal is "to resolve this in a way that's respectful to [workers] and their families without laying them off."

"This was the city's meeting," he said. "They asked us to put this together. This is what should have happened as a first step. It didn't happen until now, but we're at where we're at."

Deputy Mayor Mark Angelson didn't comment after the meeting. He only said, "It's a beautiful day in Chicago, greatest city in the world."

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