Dallas television news reports on June 24 showed a small but enthusiastic group protesting job cuts against city workers. We were at City Hall at noon. United Steelworker Local Union President Ernestor Pena spoke to a group that included solidarity support from Unite-Here, Communications Workers, SEIU Local 100, and Jobs with Justice. The President of the Dallas Central Labor Council, Gwen Dunivent, attended. It was explained that many of the city workers are too intimidated by the pending disaster to take a public stand.
Public employees in Texas have few legal rights, and the Steelworkers local does not have strict seniority rights; consequently, nobody knows for sure who is likely to be cut and who won't. At the City Council meeting just before the rally, union officer Christopher Head was forced to take on some disparaging comments from Councilman Dwayne Carraway. Councilwoman Angela Hunt was much more encouraging for the workers, according to the Dallas newspaper account.
Job cuts are apparently the bosses' main way of dealing with the economic crisis. They can't seem to realize that they are making it worse with every layoff. Comments from some of the employees were taken for KNON's "Workers Beat" program on the following Monday. Two television cameras and a print reporter were at the rally
Ernestor Pena addressed the group
in downtown Dallas