By Kevin Yamamura
Published: Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2009
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger warned Wednesday that if public employee unions don't accept twice-monthly furloughs, he will lay off state workers to reduce salary costs by more than a billion dollars.
The Republican governor signed an executive order last month requiring 238,000 state workers to take two unpaid days off each month starting in February. His order also mandated that the state send warning letters to state workers with the least seniority notifying them that their jobs were threatened.
Labor unions are fighting the governor's furlough order in Sacramento Superior Court, where a judge is expected to rule this week whether Schwarzenegger's plan is constitutional. The governor said that if he loses the case, he will pursue layoffs instead.
"To me, labor has the choice, and I made this very clear: They can help us make the decision in how we can save the ($1.3 billion)," Schwarzenegger said at the Sacramento Press Club. "So our recommendation was furloughs, where everyone takes a haircut rather than laying people off. That's the last thing I want to do, is lay people off. So it's their decision."
"The fact of the matter is in the end I have the authority, if they don't go along with the furlough, to lay people off so we have a savings of ($1.3 billion)," he added.
Source: Sacbee - Link