New York Daily News, July 13, 2011

Last week, the city touted an important legal victory that makes it easier for commissioners and agencies to determine the size of the municipal workforce. In plain English, the decision essentially said courts cannot always stop the city from laying people off when it comes to budget issues. And while City Hall celebrated the win in court, dozens of employees who work at New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation facilities were quietly let go or demoted to lesser-paying jobs. The battle centered on the HHC's massive restructuring program, which included eliminating 144 jobs focused on facilities maintenance. Three unions, including District Council 37, sued to stop the layoffs of carpenters, electricians and laborers. A trial court ruled that HHC had used “improper methodology” which initially halted the layoffs. The city appealed the decision. Last week, an appeals court ruled in the city’s favor. “They wanted my ID, my keys and my parking permit -- and that was it,” said George Cairone, 49, who has worked as a laborer at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx for 13 years.

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