Philadelphia Workers Fight Against Concessions and Service Cutbacks

July 20, 2004

On July 7, 2,000 municipal workers in Philadelphia held a rally to oppose the city government's plans to impose concessions contracts on the workers and to cut back public services.

These attacks on city workers and public services are a direct result of the local government's decision to slash corporate taxes and reduce spending.

Several municipal unions are locked in sharp contract struggles and the government is pushing for cutbacks in wages, health benefits, pensions as well as layoffs. The city has already begun cutting services - reducing hours at public clinics and libraries, planning cutbacks in fire stations, etc.

But the workers are not intimidated. At the July 7 rally, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and other unions declared "No concessions!" And demanded that government "stop balancing the budget on the backs of city workers." Several unions have already taken strike votes and are prepared to step up their struggles.

Other unions which participated in the July 7 rally, pledging their support for the municipal unions, included the Transport Workers Union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the American Postal Workers Union, the SEIU and others.