Monday, June 8, 2009

Firefighters thank Obama for picketline support

IAFF Welcomes Obama Support In Providence
International Association of Fire Fighters

The International Association of Fire Fighters today thanked the Obama
administration for honoring the picket line planned for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Annual Meeting next week in Providence, Rhode Island.

“We appreciate the Obama administration’s support of fire fighters. This is another example of the administration’s unqualified support for workers and organized labor,” International Association of FireFighters General President Harold Schaitberger said.

Providence Local 799 Fire Fighters – along with members of the Rhode Island Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police and the Rhode Island AFL-CIO and many of its affiliate unions – will walk picket lines throughout the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting to protest Mayor David Cicilline’s treatment of firefighters.

The IAFF respectfully requested that the Obama administration honor the IAFF’s picket line and not participate in any event, meeting or forum associated with this year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. Providence fire fighters supported Cicilline in his initial run for mayor after he promised he wouldnegotiate a fair contract with Local 799.

But Mayor Cicilline has consistently opposed fire fighters since his election in 2002. Local 799’s last contract expired in 2005 and Providence fire fighters have been forced to arbitrate their last seven collective agreements.

Mayor Cicilline has fought Local 799 in arbitration and lost nearly every battle. The mayor has fostered additional ill-will by introducing state legislation and city ordinances against Providence fire fighters.

“We tried to settle our differences with the mayor, but he continues to antagonize the hard-working firefighters of Local 799, so we will use this opportunity to shed light on the mayor’s epic mismanagement and his disdain for workers,” Local 799 President Paul Doughty said.