Roberts, DC37 Union Chief, Denounces Legislative Failure On OTB

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[Union News]

Top New York union leaders have denounced the
New York State Senate's failure to pass legislation to save New York City Off-Track Betting Corporation.

"This was an
incredibly heartless act by State Senators Dean Skelos, Martin Golden
and the New York State Republican Party. They created a lose-lose
outcome for OTB workers and the state budget," said
DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts, who heads New York's City's largest public employee union.
"They should be ashamed of their failure to prevent the situation.
Taxpayers should ask them how they could stand on the floor of the
Senate and vote against a reorganization of the New York City Off-Track
Betting Corporation that would have benefited both the city and the
state, saved over 1,000 jobs here in NYC and safeguarded up to 40,000
racing related jobs statewide."

She was joined in criticizing the lawmakers by
Paulette Sher, vice president of DC 37Local 2021, which represents more than 800 of NYC OTB's 1,000 workers, and elected officials and other labor leaders today. Other union leaders present included DC 37 Political Action and Legislation Director Wanda Williams, Teamsters Local 858 President Barry Yomtov, New York State Senate Racing & Wagering Committee Chair Eric Adams, and former OTB workers.

"In the political arena we've always believed it important to look not at the party affiliation but at the individual elected official, the policies they've espoused and how they impact New York's workers and their families," Sher said. "This action makes me feel it's in the best interest of the members of this union if we re-think that approach. Our people saw first-hand how heartless some elected officials can be. To vote on Tuesday to shut down OTB at midnight - just on the eve of what is supposed to be a joyous holiday season - was cruel. This is the most heartless act I've witnessed. We won't forget it."

The state Senate vote triggers an unconscionable loss of revenue in a state that is already running a $9 billion deficit. It also destroys 1,000 NYC OTB jobs, puts 40,000 racing-related jobs statewide at risk, and will cost the state $600 million
in liability as a result of losing the $750 million in OTB handle that contributes much-needed revenue, union leaders say.

"Speaking Truth To Empower."

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