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Labor questions layoffs

By Lombardo David
Friday, February 15, 2013

Plans to ax 234 jobs in the state's Thruway Authority is being criticized by the Civil Service Employees Association.

"This is just a bad idea - the canals are an invaluable resource for New York State in so many ways," said CSEA President Danny Donohue in a statement. "It is very important that we let the public know how this ill conceived plan will hurt people, businesses and communities."

The cuts, which will go into effect April 3, include 192 positions in the Thruway system and 42 in the Canal Corporation, a division of the authority.The cuts are expected to save the authority $20 million.

Jobs across the state and in 60 different civil service titles are included in the cuts. Employees whose jobs have been eliminated may have seniority to bump less-senior people out of their positions, so it’s not clear yet who will be affected by the planned cuts. Because of the bumping rights the authority began the process a few weeks ago.

CSEA notes that a wide range of businesses, individuals and organizations rely on the canal system and need it working.

Additionally, the union alleges that the layoffs are a "political retaliation" in response to ongoing labor negotiations. "Governor Cuomo says his administration is about jobs and the economy but putting dedicated workers out of work and undermining the state Thruway and Canal operations is a lousy way to promote a jobs agenda," Donohue said in a statement.

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