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Tough times lead to more worker furloughs – just ask Chicago

posted Aug 19, 2009, 12:39 PM by Andy Bock   [ updated Nov 12, 2009, 9:50 AM ]

| By Ron Scherer | Christian Science Monitor | August 17, 2009 |

For millions of Americans, this might be the year of the furlough. …. It is a phenomenon that is coursing through the workplace, especially in state and local governments. Although companies tend to do mass layoffs, there is a growing trend to impose private-sector furloughs, especially for the white-collar workforce. On Monday, the doors to City Hall, libraries, and health clinics across Chicago remained locked for the first of three furlough days the city has scheduled for 2009. ….. Unions have a mixed view of furloughs, which they generally view as a last resort. “In some ways it has turned into a necessary evil,” says Steve Kreisberg, director of collective bargaining for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). “Within a limit it is tolerable.”

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