Brother and Sister Firefighters, as you all know too well, we are in a fight for our profession. I know all too well the battles each and every one of you are fighting each day, both for your specific Locals and for the MPFFU as an organization.
There is one battle on the forefront that we cannot afford to lose, the effort to repeal PA 4. This Emergency manager bill has the potential to destroy our profession in everyway. Some Locals have these dictators in place and the destruction has begun (see Ecorse, Pontiac, and Benton Harbor).
This strong-arm tactic will ultimately make its’ way into the concepts of municipal governments all over the State. You may not have an EM in place today, and that’s a great position to be in, but be aware of two factors that are at play:
1. Many individuals and/ or firms are currently on a pre-established list to be placed in “distressed communities” at the order of the Governor or State Treasurer. Most, if not all, of our Locals fall under this “distressed community” criteria today. Many communities meet the criteria, many EM’s are waiting in the midst….you do the math.
2. Some EM’s have already begun to destroy contracts with their powers. Understand this clearly, the actions they take on the communities they destroy will affect negotiations all over. Municipalities will use these destroyed communities as examples to your residents as “cost savings”. They will use them as comparables in negotiations. Even in a 312 arb, you will have to fight against these “comparables” with the hope that an arbitrator will not factor in that evidence in his award. What are the chances of that? Do you want to take that chance?
The MPFFU has renewed the push to gather signatures to stop this law and place the issue on the ballot. I’m pleading with ALL LOCAL MEMBERS to get involved. This will not stop in the “certain” communities. This is a part of the massive plan to abolish Unions, our rights and our way of living. To boot, this will even affect your services where you live, eventually. We are up against an opponent who has decided to attack us, and I believe he has under estimated us. He has under estimated the people of this State.
Let’s get these petitions filled out and let the voters decide. That is democracy. That is the American way.
We can do this, but we need all hands on deck. Your family, friends, church members, hunting buddies, civic group members, get them all to sign. 4000 members securing 100 signatures each will give us 400,000 signatures. Each member securing 50 signatures is 200,000. Who in this organization doesn’t know or have access to 50 people? This is achievable. We just have to do what we do better than most of society- Get to work!
In Love and Solidarity
Proud president of the Pontiac Firefighters Union.