Mayor Bloomberg fired a warning shot Friday at the city unions who have backed the Occupied Wall Street protests, saying “we’re not going to have money to pay our municipal employees” if the financial sector takes a hit and New York’s tax take goes down with it.
“Everyone’s got a thing they want to protest, some of which is not realistic,” Bloomberg said. “And if you focus for example on driving the banks out of New York City, you know those are our jobs … You can’t have it both ways: If you want jobs you have to assist companies and give them confidence to go and hire people.”
“The protests that are trying to destroy the jobs of working people in this city aren’t productive,” Bloomberg said in his weekly radio appearance with John Gambling. Taking a swipe at “some of the labor unions participating,” Bloomberg added that “their salaries come from – are paid by – some of the people they’re trying to vilify.”
That resembled a refrain protesters have frequently aimed at the police: “my taxes pay your salary.”
“What they’re trying to do is take away the jobs of people working in the city, take away the tax base that we have,” Bloomberg said, adding that the protests could impact tourism. “We’re not going to have money to pay our municipal employees or anything else.”
Asked directly if the city had an end game for the protests or would let them continue indefinitely, Bloomberg, who a week ago suggested that the clock was running, avoided a direct answer today:
“We are trying to deal with this is a way that doesn’t make the problem grow and protects everybody’s rights… we’re trying to let this — not ‘play out,’ that isn’t quite the right word, but let them express themselves.”
“The one thing I can tell you for sure,” he said earlier in the interview, “is if anybody in the city breaks the law we will arrest them and turn them over the district attorneys.”