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DOT could lay off hundreds of temporary workers

Posted December 5, 2008

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— Amid worsening budget forecasts, the North Carolina Department of Transportation had laid off 88 temporary workers as of Friday, officials said.

Hundreds more will likely could be laid off in the coming weeks, a department spokesman Ernie Seneca said. All of DOT's 930 temporary workers could face termination, but the department hopes to avoid that, Seneca said.

"The money for road work by these temporary workers is just not here because of the cuts on the federal level and slowdown in state revenues," Gov. Mike Easley said in a statement.

The employees laid off Friday worked for the Division of Highways and were responsible for maintenance and upkeep on highways, Seneca said. They made between $11 and $20 an hour.

DOT revenue is down 9 percent for the current fiscal year. DOT's chief- financial officer, Mark Foster, has projected an 11 to 12 percent budget shortfall – more than $300 million – during the fiscal year beginning next July. That could grow to to $1 billion over the next three years and $65 billion over the next 25 years.

In October, revenues were down 27 percent from the highway-use tax on automotive sales, 14 percent from DMV fees and 10 percent from the state fuel tax.

DOT has delayed 20 projects, including the Fayetteville Loop and New Bern Bypass. The department has also implemented a hiring freeze, stopped new equipment purchases and cut training and hiring.

Easley said that during a governors' summit in Philadelphia this week, he urged President-elect Barack Obama to direct economic-stimulus money toward road projects in North Carolina.

"The state transportation department has more than $5 billion worth of projects ready to go today, throughout the state, if the money was available from a federal stimulus program," Easley said. " These are projects that will help North Carolina and work to revive our economy."

Easley has ordered all state agencies to make budget cuts between 2 and 5 percent to make up for declining revenue. Officials have forecast the state budget could have a shortfall between $800 million and $1.6 billion this year and up to $3.3 billion next fiscal year.


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  • killerkestrel Dec 9, 2008

    NCDOT checks citizenship unlike many companies.

  • killerkestrel Dec 9, 2008

    Contractor = 10 guys looking into a hole while one guy at the bottom of the hole digs. Then you have the big boss making his profit, and you have to have a couple inspectors making sure they do it right.

    I continue to be amazed how folks don't know the truth behind the orange vest.

  • mramorak Dec 5, 2008

    uh.......... temp workers?

  • woodrowboyd2 Dec 5, 2008

    cant belive we pay this kinda money for tool toters
    lay all them off

  • SaveEnergyMan Dec 5, 2008

    davidgnews is right. They started at the wrong end. Cutting just a few at the top could save ten people who actually do work for a living.

  • itsnews2me Dec 5, 2008

    Bring back the prison chain gangs to do the work now. Seriously.

  • davidgnews Dec 5, 2008

    They should start at the TOP and work their way down.

    Lyndo Tippett needed to be shown the door long ago.

  • Quagmire Dec 5, 2008

    Who did these jobs before the invasion of ILLEGALS ? We did !

    Americans aren't willing to do those jobs anymore. Why should a kid work the tobacco fields during the summer when he can flip burgers.

  • Barrackawack Dec 5, 2008

    Well most are "ILLEGAL" immigrants that are working for the temp agencies that supply these temps to the DOT. Sad but true ! Hope they saved enough to get back home.......the party here is over ! No racist here, just a realist! I am unemployed myself after working for the same company for 27 years, outsourced.The school buses are full of anchor babies in our neighborhood that our tax dollars have been funding for years now. Jobs that "people do not want" may be all I can get if I am lucky before this is over with.Who did these jobs before the invasion of ILLEGALS ? We did !

  • pbjbeach Dec 5, 2008

    stop the wasteful spending an gifts to contractors that do non speceficiation work an still get paid for it bad non spec work isn't to be paid for or borne by the taxpayers of this state an stop the political corruption between the poltician an the road building contractors