Tulsa city workers win fight vs. privatization with creative strategy

Source: J. Shepherd, People’s World, February 23, 2012

The unionized Tulsa municipal workers of AFSCME Local 1180 chose to fight back against privatization by taking over their department in a very unusual way.

In June 2011, city operations and maintenance workers were threatened with privatization. These workers handle electrical, mechanical, plumbing and carpentry duties for the municipality…They went directly to the city government and presented their findings and proposals. They would eliminate unnecessary expenses, relinquish two vehicles that were not regularly used, and upgrade their technology to use more efficient software and web-based solutions wherever possible. Not only did their plan save the people of Tulsa money while maintaining quality services, they included a “gain sharing” program in which unionized operations and maintenance workers would be rewarded for their extra effort….

The mayor announced that the workers’ extra initiative not only saved their jobs from privatization, but saved the city $224,000 since July 2011.

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