Villaraigosa: Claim of "war on women" at City Hall outrageous, desperate

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls claims of a CIty Hall
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls claims of a CIty Hall "war on women" outrageous and desperate. Labor groups say women will be disproportionately impacted by proposed layoffs.
Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images

A claim by labor unions that the city of Los Angeles has a “war on women” because women could be disproportionately impacted by layoffs is “so outrageous it doesn’t deserve an answer,” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said today.

The question came after the Los Angeles Times reported that more women than men would lose their jobs if the threat of layoffs comes true.

A representative for the city administrative officer said it is impossible to calculate how many women would be impacted by the proposed 231 layoffs because of the city’s complicated system of letting employees go. A Villaraigosa budget official agreed that the city would not know the break down between men and women until after the Personnel Department completes its displacement calculations.

Villaraigosa, speaking at a news conference outside of LAPD headquarters, criticized organized labor’s negotiating tactic.

“Those same people, when in negotiations with the CAO Miguel Santana, when asked would you rather defer – not take – your next two 5 percent increases and save the 230 plus jobs and not lay off those people, they said lay them off,” the mayor said.

“So, you know, it’s what people do in desperate times. It’s unfortunate and it is outrageous.”

The Coalition for L.A. City Unions, which represents about 21,000 city employees, did not specify how many women are in the 231 positions that may be eliminated. However, the group said 189 “pink collar” jobs, which were historically held by women, are on the chopping block, including clerk typists and secretaries.

“The numbers don’t lie. They just tell it like it is,” said the coalition’s Erica Zeitlin.

“So, if the mayor is expressing outrage, then it’s because he has not been paying attention to the needs of Los Angeles residents or the facts on the ground. He needs to take a break from campaigning for his next job and focus on the issues that matter to voters back here at home.”