At a press conference last week Democratic Mayor Dave Bing, the City Council, the heads of major unions and local ministers denounced state intervention in the name of “local control” of city finances. This, however, had nothing to do with defending city workers or vital services. On the contrary, Detroit’s multimillionaire Mayor Bing, the City Council and union officials insisted they did not need any outside help to slash the jobs and living standards of municipal workers on behalf of the city’s big bondholders.
The Bing administration is calling for massive concessions from city unions, including a 10 percent pay cut, increased health costs and changes to work rules. In addition Bing has called for the layoff of 1,000 city workers and “voluntary” reductions in benefits by the city’s 22,000 retirees. The mayor’s proposed cuts would amount to some $102 million in 2012 and $257 million in the following years.
The Detroit City Council is calling for even more draconian cuts, including 2,300 layoffs. Among the jobs to be eliminated would be 400 firefighters.
While now posing as an opponent of a state takeover, Bing has worked closely with the Republican governor and previously suggested he would be a good candidate to be appointed the city’s EFM. The mayor has made no effort to explain his sudden embrace of “home rule” demagogy, but it appears he has calculated that it is much better to work with the unions to impose the attack on city workers rather than circumvent them.
The fakery, we're up to our neck in it (at least) in the US.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for Tuesday: