Grave Situation for City Workers

Union protests looming layoffs for 67 city employees

By Claudia DoCampo
|  Monday, Aug 31, 2009  |  Updated 8:30 AM EDT
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Grave Situation for City Workers

NBCMiami.com

Local union president Charlie Cox places tombstones to represent the 67 city workers who may become victims of Miami's budget cuts.

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Miami's City Hall looked like morning of the living dead early today as the city's workers' union protested the cutting of some 67 employees by creating a graveyard for workers losing their jobs.

Local AFSCME union president Charlie Cox placed tombstones with the names and years of service of the would-be victims of the proposed cuts on the lawn outside city hall early this morning as part of a demonstration.

"What do I hope to accomplish? That the commissioners see how many years of service these people have that they're saying they're going to layoff," Cox said.

City Manager Pete Hernandez said the layoffs are still proposed cuts and there are two more budget hearings, the next on Sept. 10. Hernandez said the city is trying its best to balance the budget and not have to layoff 67 of its 1,200 employees.

"It's not easy to do what we have to do, but in order to deal with $118 million of budget shortfall, it's almost inevitable when you start reducing departments above $60 million not to impact some people," Hernandez said.

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