Teamsters, AFSCME Challenge Furloughs

by Gabe Bullard on December 8, 2009

Two unions, the Teamsters and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are taking legal action against Louisville Metro Government over last year’s four unpaid furlough days for all non-emergency metro employees.

The furloughs saved the city about two million dollars. But the Teamsters and AFSCME say the furloughs their employees took violated their contracts.

“You must lay people off in reverse order of seniority until you’ve reached the point when you can recoup your money,” says Teamsters’ attorney David Leightty

The Louisville Labor-Management Committee is considering AFSCME’s complaint and has issued a ruling in favor of the Teamsters. That ruling now goes to a judge for a legal opinion.

If the court rules for the Teamsters, Metro Government may have to pay union workers for their furloughed days. If that’s the case, Mayor’s spokesperson Chad Carlton says other budget cuts will have to be made.

“Our initial reaction would be that we would resolve this issue, if there is an issue, within the normal budgetary process, which means making our spending and our revenues match up,” he says.

Carlton says he’s not sure how much money was saved from furloughs for Teamsters and AFSCME members.

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