Union tries to protect city jobs

With the city council at her disposal Local Union Director Dorothy Crook sang the praises of Memphis sanitation workers.

"I don't even want to challenge you to go and pick up garbage cause you can't do it, I can't either," Crook told council members at a meeting at city hall Tuesday.

Crook says the city's plan to lay off employees will hit AFSCME Local 1733 hard.

"I'm not concerned about the mayor's budget or what he does with his money but I am concerned about those employees who have been laid off and who are members of our union," Crook says news of the layoffs came before they could suggest alternatives to layoffs.

Solutions like rescinding city employee pay raises, taking back personal days or creating shorter work weeks so that everyone could continue working.

"We think that the things that they do every day are worth more than just a meeting to say hey we're going to lay them off without a discussion."

Crook says the union that was born out of Dr. Martin Luther King Juniors assasination deserves more respect. The city council agreed to set up a meeting but suggested that the union take their fight to the mayor. Union workers hope Mayor Herenton will hear them out, suggesting that he's forgotten the significance of the oldest union in town.