Public worker unions fight NYS furloughs

New York's powerful public worker unions are taking the governor to court in what could become a costly and lengthy battle to stop one-day-a-week furloughs for stateemployees.

The Public Employees Federation and the Civil Service EmployeesAssociation unions, representing hundreds of thousands of white-and blue-collar workers, are seeking a temporary restraining orderTuesday to block the furloughs approved by the Legislature Mondaynight.

Next will be the unions' court challenge to the furloughs forabout 100,000 state workers.

Paterson says the furloughs are needed because the unions haverejected every other offer to sacrifice during the state's fiscalcrisis, including suspending their annual 4-percent raises.

The unions say furloughs would violate labor contracts.

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