Cash-Strapped SF slashes jobs held mostly by FIlipinas, other minority women

Posted at 11/25/2009 10:46 AM | Updated as of 08/04/2010 7:34 PM

Close to a thousand protesters marched the streets of San Francisco last night at the peak of rush hour traffic. Some blocked off an intersection, prompting police to make arrests. Protesters say this is their last ditch effort to convince the mayor to rescind the recent layoffs of more than five hundred city workers.

About three hundred of these workers are certified nursing assistants, a majority of which are Filipino.

“Pakiramdam namin binabalewala kami.  Inspite of the services we provide, talagang dinidiscriminate kami,” said Tess Gamit, Certified Nursing Assistant.

The Mayor's Office says many CNA’s who received pink slips this month will only be demoted to patient care assistants, but this means a 25% pay cut in their annual salary with the same amount of work.

“Yung iba nawalan na ng bahay.  Yung iba ang asawa nila walang trabaho, walang insurance --- aalisin pa yung mga benepisyo namin.  Papaano na kami?  Papaano na kami mabubuhay?” said said certified nursing assistant Linda Ong.

“We're not fighting for any rewards.  But just to maintain yung pay namin for the same job,” said Certified Nursing Assistant Mabel Agcaoili

Protesters say all it takes is eight million dollars to restore the jobs, but San Francisco faces a five hundred million deficit, and the mayor plans to use more than thirty million dollars in federal aid to pay off debt.

“But our question is, why does it have to be on the backs of our CNAs?  A lot of them are Filipinos and they have families.  Now they have to find two jobs,” said Mila Thomas, union organizer.

Firebrand San Francisco Supervisor, Chris Daly, spoke on behalf of the protesters.  “It’s almost as if (Mayor) Gavin Newsom doesn’t like Latinas, Filipinas, Asian American women, who are providing the basic services that the diversity of San Francisco relies upon,” Daly said.