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by Angelica Balabanoff
Thursday, Sep. 18, 2003 at 9:26 PM
Long Beach bureaucrats show up at meeting of library employees, tell them they have to rescind small payraise City agreed to in contract because "the people" demand it.
City Manager Jerry Miller showed up with one of his flunkies today at a meeting of library employees in Long Beach and told a sob story about how bad the city finances are and told workers that they must not be selfish and listen to their union but must agree to sharp reductions in health insurance and other benefits because "we are all in this together." (He makes a huge salary.) The two suits blasted the Machinists Union, which represents library employees for not giving back a 3 percent payraise that the City agreed to in a contract. Not surprisingly, no representative of the union was there to offer a different view; the Library Director has refused to ever allow anyone from the union to attend one of these mandatory meetings. His assistant, a smiling and attractive yuppie female, assured everyone that all this was fair because she goes to some kind of "neighborhood meetings" where "the citizens" all demand that City employees pay more for their own health insurance! Yeah, right. These two birds allowed the lowly employees to send up index cards with questions -when they got to mine, which asked if contracting work out to employers who pay less than living wages to their workers didn't make the City a partner in the exploitation of these workers and how much the city had paid last year in police misconduct lawsuits, they decided that they were out of time and had to leave without answering it. Then they fled. Two things these clowns are afraid of are pointed questions and militant, united union members. We have to make sure that their fears are realized.
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