City Workers Protest Layoffs

At least seventeen city inspectors are being laid off by the City of Houston as Mayor Parker continues to try and balance the city's budget. Today the union that represents those workers rallied and voiced their opposition to the cuts.

James Moore is a community service inspector. At least he was until last Friday. His job was to inspect rundown properties and contact owners whose property isn’t up to code.

"If we get rid of some substandard buildings, it’ll keep people from squatting in the buildings, you know vagrants and stuff like that going on in the neighborhoods. It helps get a lot of the visual blight down if there’s graffiti from gangs and thing like that."

Moore and at least 17 other people in the neighborhood protection services division are losing their jobs.

Carletta Bryant is  one of them.

"If you would’ve asked me to take a demotion, I would have taken the demotion even though, I’m struggling with what I make now. I would have taken it cause at least I would’ve had insurance to cover my family."

The union says 41 people are being laid off, but Mayor Parker’s office says the number is 17 and the rest need to be certified in order to keep their jobs. Union leaders and protesters say neighborhoods will get worse without the inspectors but the city says the work will still get done.

Here  is Moore and Bryant:

"I’m hoping even if they don’t hire us back that there’s some changes for the people that are still here. (Be)cause we were already short handed as far as performing inspections, so now they’re just going to dump the workload onto the inspectors that are still here."

"God is going to take care of each and every one of us. But what they did and how they did it is not right."

Both workers say they’ll begin sending out resumes right away.