Labor union challenges layoff order

August 1, 2008 7:38:14 PM PDT
California's biggest union filed suit Friday to stop the governor from laying off thousands of part time and seasonal workers.

State workers were at it again Friday, protesting their wage cuts and layoffs. This time, they delivered Governor Schwarzenegger his own pink slip.

"The governor has failed, and we are here to say, 'Governor Schwarzenegger, you are terminated,'" said Yvonne Walker, president of SEIU Local 1000.

Also hand delivered was a lawsuit from the union. It accuses the governor of failing to follow proper labor procedures before he signed the order that laid off 10,000 state workers, like give advanced warning.

SEIU Local 1000 also accuses the governor of unfair labor practices for cutting the pay of 200,000 during contract negotiations.

"The governor is on shaky legal ground in issuing this executive order," says SEIU attorney Brooke Pierman.

But the governor's office insists the executive order is legal.

Once the long overdue budget is passed, state workers get their jobs and normal salaries back. Until then, Governor Schwarzenegger has to preserve the state's dwindling cash account.

"The governor is willing to move ahead in making sure that the state can meet its obligations. If that means we have to go to court to fulfill this executive order then that's what we need to do," says Aaron McLear, the governor's press secretary.

Meanwhile, Californians are already feeling the effects of the layoffs at most DMV offices. With part-time workers laid off, the waiting, the wondering and the boredom seem longer.

"They're at 386. I got 427," says one DMV customer.

"How long did you have to wait?" asks ABC7's Nannette Miranda.

"About 2 to 2 and1/2 hours, honestly. That's ridiculous!" says DMV customer Roselyn Rush.

And Labor Secretary Victoria Bradshaw tells ABC7 if you have a workers comp or short-term disability claim, it's going to take longer to process.


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