Layoffs Possible After Union Lawsuits

by Gabe Bullard on January 13, 2009

After facing its third lawsuit over last month’s budget cuts, Louisville Metro Government is now considering layoffs.

The Teamsters filed suit Friday, saying the city’s cost-cutting furlough program violates their contract with the city.

Some union members have already taken two furlough days. Last month, Mayor Jerry Abramson directed that all non-essential city workers take a total of four furlough days to help close a $20 million budget shortfall.

Teamsters attorney David Leightty says he thinks the city might stop pushing for unions to cut costs.

“I only can speak for the bargaining unit that I represent – the Teamsters. I’m hearing that, I’m not sure of that, and that’s why we’ll reserve a hearing date,” he says. “But if it isn’t necessary, I’m not going to take action that isn’t required.”

Abramson spokesperson Chris Poynter wouldn’t address that claim, saying instead that the mayor resumed meeting with budget advisors Tuesday and layoffs for non union employees are back the table.

“The unions have put us in a very tough situation,” he says. “The bottom line is we have to balance the budget some way.”

The Fraternal Order of Police has filed suit over take-home car fees and some Old Louisville residents have taken legal action to keep a local firehouse open. Hearings in all of the cases are expected in the coming weeks.

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