Friday, January 30, 2009

Union Officials Balk at State Layoffs

Labor leaders are taking issue with Governor Rendell's warnings about possible large-scale state employee layoffs. State AFL-CIO president Bill George says laying off state workers makes no sense, since Pennsylvania is expected to receive several billion dollars from the federal stimulus package that's being debated in Congress. But Rendell spokesman Chuck Ardo says funding earmarked for construction, infrastructure improvements and other development can't simply be transferred to save those jobs. George doesn't buy that argument, and is vowing to do everything he can to prevent layoffs. Gerode says, “[Rendell] says he's still going to lay off people. Well let me tell you something. We're not going to stand still in this labor movement after we won this election based on the economy-to help people, to create jobs-and have this governor laying people off.” George says AFL-CIO leaders would consider asking the Obama Administration to withhold stimulus money from Pennsylvania, but Ardo says that sort of move would be "wrong on many levels."

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