City workers picketing in places across Virginia

AFSCME Local 454 members walk off the job in Virginia

Members of AFSCME Local 454 in Virginia started their strike Wednesday morning at 6 a.m.

Members of AFSCME Local 454 in the city of Virginia are officially off the job as of 6am on Wednesday. These folks work at the library, public works, and city hall admin. And that’s where they’ve been seen picketing already.

Jen Kinney, who’s worked for the city for 23 years, shared what people are feeling. “It’s a mix of frustration. Uncertainty is hard. We’re all in the same boat. We don’t want to be here, we’d rather be at work. But we have no choice.”

“The strike is a direct result of the city and council’s lack of fairness and respect for its own workers,” explained the Union in a press release. “The city has repeatedly made offers, then walked them back while attempting to use AFSCME members livelihoods to fix their own mismanagement.”

AFSCME states that the City Attorney notified them that the City Council had voted to withdraw their final offer, earlier on Tuesday.

Mayor Larry Cuffe explained that it would have meant layoffs, and he didn’t have the heart to do that. “We are dealing with a 4% levy, which is really hard,” he said over the phone.

Both sides have been negotiating with the help of a mediator.

The city sent out an update as well. The library is now closed, but there will be curbside pick up and drop off protocol.

City Hall and the Iron Trail Motors Event Center remain open for regular hours.

Here’s the city’s strike update page: