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Blue Collar Workers Still Fighting Imposed Settlement

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Aired 5/5/09

San Diego City Council votes on a new Salary Ordinance today. But the city’s lowest paid workers are still fighting for more flexibility in how to meet the 6 percent cut in pay and benefits.

— San Diego City Council votes on a new Salary Ordinance today. But the city’s lowest paid workers are still fighting for more flexibility in how to meet the 6 percent cut in pay and benefits. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Blue collar city workers did not reach a labor agreement and instead had a settlement imposed on them.

Joan Raymond, head of the blue collar workers union, held a 40-hour vigil and slept outside city hall to protest the new ordinance.

She says unlike white collar workers and management, her workers are not allowed the right to furlough days. And, she says the reductions in take home pay will hit the low paid workers the hardest.

"The bottom line in this case," Raymond says, "is the ability for a family to live and not go onto food stamps and public assistance. Some of them qualify for food stamps anyway. You can spin the figures any which way but when it comes right down to it ,you have to stand up for your lowest paid workers."

A mayoral spokesman says the time for more negotiation has passed.

Alison St John, KPBS news.

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