Union Parking Workers Ask City To Manage Lots

March 18, 1992|By Joanna Daemmrich | Joanna Daemmrich,Staff writer

In an 11th-hour attempt to save their jobs, unionized parking attendants in Annapolis proposed that the city take over managing its off-street parking lots.

Mary Russell, a cashier at the Noah Hillman Parking Garage, met with Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins yesterday to urge thatthe city take control of its parking lots instead of hiring an outside management company.

But Hopkins told her the move would increase the city's parking costs substantially.

Russell and 24 other employees of Park AmericaInc. fear they will lose their jobs when the city awards a new management contract. Park America, which ran the city's off-street parkingfor more than a decade, submitted a higher bid than Towne Park Ltd.,an Annapolis parking company.

Union workers tried to persuade theCity Council to hold up the contract, arguing that they would lose pay and health benefits under a new company. Some fear that Towne Parkwon't hire them if it gets the contract.

The council last week took no action on the contract, allowing the city administration to proceed. The bid was structured to save the city the most money after the administration discovered a previous contract with Park America hadexpired several years earlier.

Critics charged at the time that the city had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by allowing the contract to lapse.

Russell came up with the strategy of having the city take over managing its parking, a move she thought would save money while allowing the Park America workers to become city employees. But the administration yesterday "basically shot it down," she said.

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