Commentary: For A Few Dollars Less...

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, February 6, 2009

Union leaders appear prepared to sacrifice Sacramento city’s lower paid junior workers, so that their better paid, more senior co-workers can get raises. The proof? The unions have uniformly rejected pay freezes to prevent lay-offs.

The other day, after budget officials explained the ugly details of the city’s $50 million dollar deficit, a spokesman for Local 39, which represents about half the city’s workforce, said he wasn’t convinced the problem is as severe as the city is portraying it to be.

Not convinced? Where has he been? The stock market has lost a third of its value since October. Median prices of new homes in Sacramento County dropped 52% from last year. Remember Mervyns, Linens ‘n Things, Circuit City? All gone. Swallowed up by the recession. Millions are out of work.

If you’re a city worker, check your hire date. Under civil service rules, the last hired will be the first laid off. If you’re one of the newly hired, take cover. The people to whom you pay your union dues are about to deal away your job so your co-workers can get a raise.

So much for worker solidarity. So much for shared sacrifice. If you’re a junior worker for the city of Sacramento, start looking for a lifeboat.


Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.