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Unions Protest Mayor's Plan to Lay Off Workers in N.Y.

April 30, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — More than 10,000 union members gathered outside City Hall on Tuesday to denounce the mayor's plans to lay off municipal workers to help bridge a $3.8-billion budget gap.

The rally, organized by the city's largest municipal union, District Council 37, attracted city employees ranging from sanitation workers and school aides to probation officers, firefighters and teachers.

"We're here to let the mayor know that we're not going to lay down to be laid off," union president Veronica Montgomery told a crowd lining Broadway that police estimated at 10,000 to 20,000.

Patrick Lynch, president of a police union, said: "We are the ones who built this city. We are the ones who keep this city safe. We are the ones who make it run. We need to get paid for that."

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is seeking $600 million in concessions, including changes in work schedules and adjustments to health plans and the pension system. The mayor has said union officials have offered only about $20 million in savings.

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