NEWARK – The Booker administration’s announcement that 2,000 city employees would receive notices today informing them that their jobs could be on the chopping block, put SEIU NJ State Council President Rahaman Muhammad in the command position.
“While Mayor Booker dances with the stars on national television, thousands of city workers are bracing to get layoff notices,” said Muhammad, head of SEIU Local 617, which has 3,000 members, in response to the news that among those in jeopardy, the jobs of 220 sanitation workers are at stake.
The news landed days after Booker appeared on the Oprah WInfrey Show with Gov. Chris Christie to accept a $100 million donation to the Newark public schools from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
“Our workers don’t have direct access to the likes of Oprah or Facebook CEO Zuckerberg,” said Muhammad. “They are hard-working men and women who are raising families in this city and who rely on Mayor Booker to do the right thing. People living outside of Newark may be dazzled by the mayor’s smile, but those of us who live and work here are not blinded to the reality that city workers face. He has yet to provide details on how he plans to replace our sanitation workers and the services they provide, and yet he’s ready to throw them out on the streets. We want Mayor Booker to step away from the cameras, do some soul-searching, and come clean with the City of Newark.”