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Outside Budget Debates, Union Workers Rally

By Eric Richardson
Published: Monday, May 18, 2009, at 06:15PM
City Employees Unions Protest Layoffs Eric Richardson [Flickr]

A union member leads assembled workers in chants outside City Hall midday on Monday.

As City Council debated how to solve Los Angeles' estimated $500 million budget deficit today, several hundred unionized city workers rallied outside to criticize Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for backing away from a plan that would have called for early retirement instead of layoffs.

At the rally, the chair of a coalition of six unions representing city employees said that her group had worked with the Mayor's office for over a year to find a solution that would close the budget gaps without layoffs, and accused the Mayor of suddenly backing away from that plan.

Villaraigosa has said that the early retirements would take too severe a toll on the city's pension programs.

Union workers filled the council chambers for the start of today's marathon budget session, then made their way out to Main street for a noon rally.

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