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Firefighters Demand Philadelphia Honor Arbitrator’s Contract Award

By Pat Loeb, Anne-Marie Green

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia firefighters’ union today took advantage of the national firefighters’ convention here to bring reinforcements to their demand for a new contract.

The union wants the city to accept an arbitrator’s award (see related story), but the city is considering an appeal.

This afternoon, the union pressed its case with a march and rally at City Hall.

Chanting “Binding is binding, sign the award,” firefighters from departments around the country joined their Philadelphia brethren in a short march from the Pennsylvania Convention Center to City Hall, where they called once again for the mayor to accept the results of a binding arbitration award.

“He’s wasting our dues, your taxes, and all he’s doing is feeding money to lawyers! This is wrong!  The people who save your life deserve better treatment,” Local 22 president Bill Gault shouted to the crowd.

Visiting firefighters wanted to show solidarity.

“We support each other 100 percent, wherever we are,” said one man.
And they defend the process they also depend on.

“It totally destroys any sense of bargaining in good faith if the city does not uphold an arbitrator’s award,” one woman told KYW Newsradio.

Mayor Nutter is away.  He has until August 3rd to decide on an appeal.

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