Rep. claims layoffs racially motivated

Rep. Alvin Holmes, (D) Montgomery
Rep. Alvin Holmes, (D) Montgomery

Posted by: Mark Bullock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - A state representative is getting involved in Montgomery city-level decisions. Representative Alvin Holmes is criticizing a recent move by the mayor and city council to eliminate 44 janitorial positions. He calls it racially motivated.

The democratic representative of Montgomery sent a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to request an official investigation into the matter. In the letter, Holmes points out that 99% of the janitors laid off are black. Therefore, he contends their termination violates federal anti-discrimination laws.

A spokesman for the city, however, says race was never a deciding factor in the decision making process.

"At no point in the process did we look at the ethnicity of the people affected," said Michael Briddell. "All we looked at were job functions that could be reduced or eliminated so we could save the money we needed to in the upcoming budget."

Briddell also pointed out that many of the laid off janitors have already found other positions with similar pay and benefits, including some who will now work for the private janitorial service the city has hired to replace them.

The 44 janitors weren't the only victims of budget cuts. Upwards of a hundred city employees are losing their jobs as a result of reduced revenue.

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