DC Firefighters Outraged Over Gray's "Hypocritical" Request That Congress Intervene

Thursday, April 11, 2013

DC Firefighters Outraged Over Gray's (Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)DC’s firefighters are seeing red and it’s not from the flames they fight for District residents. They found out earlier this week that DC Mayor Vincent Gray has asked Congress to retroactively enforce a 13-year-old law affecting union contracts and overtime pay. Fire Fighters Local 36 President Ed Smith angrily called the move “anti-labor and absolutely inappropriate" and Metro Council President Jos Williams said it was “astonishingly hypocritical.” Gray’s request – which flies in the face of the city’s bid for budget autonomy – came to light only when City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson flagged the language at a budget hearing last Monday, noting that the city "could be on the hook” for the $36 million in overtime the Fire Fighters say they’re owed since 2001. The city has lost the case before both the Public Employee Relations Board and the Superior Court. “To deny dedicated firefighters their due while turning to Congress to wipe out their rights is legally and morally indefensible,” said Williams. - includes reporting by the Washington Examiner’s Harry Jaffe; click here for his April 9 column; photo courtesy Washington Examiner


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