Detroit Mayor David Bing announces 1,000 layoffs

Detroit Mayor David Bing said Friday he would lay off 1,000 employees, impose a hiring freeze and push unions to accept pay cuts and concessions in benefits.

The layoffs, to become effective Feb. 25, account for 9 percent of the city's workforce of 11,000, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Bing said he's asking unions to accept 10 percent pay cuts and major concessions in healthcare and pension benefits.

Without concessions, Bing said, the state would appoint an emergency manager for the city who would have the authority to gut union contracts.

"Solving our cash crisis requires a combination of concessions and tough cuts," Bing said. "Layoffs will be strategic. We will limit the impact on residents, protecting core services like police and fire protection as much as we can."

The Free Press said it remained unclear what jobs would be cut and how many would be police and firefighters.

"The layoff announcement by Mayor Bing signals the need for unions to come to the table to discuss healthcare and benefit concessions in order to save more jobs," City Council President Pro Tem Gary Brown said.

"The mayor's action today is a start. However, if the unions don't negotiate concessions then more layoffs will be expected in order to right Detroit's financial ship."

Barring union concessions, council members have said they would lay off up to 2,300 employees.

Source: UPI