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STATEMENT BY MAYOR IVAN ALLEN; ALDERMAN WILLIAM T. KNIGHT,
CHAIRMAN, BOARD OF FIREMASTERS; AND CHIEF C. H. HILDEBRAND,
ATLANTA FIRE DEPARTMENT -- THURSDAY, JUNE 9, 1966, 11:00 A. M.
More than 500 Atlanta firemen continue to refuse, to report for duty
order ol The Fu) for Supenoy laory ant L ifta otter hizs of
as directed by the-authoritiesssf the City of Atlanta and the Adlants Fire
Department and Srila Pte owSepesISt Cost The City Attorney's
office is-askifg the Court this morning to cite the Atlanta Firefighters Union,
Indpendent, and its principal officers, J. I. Martin and Leonard Styron,
for civil contempt and failure to return to duty as ordered. |
The City of Atlanta has made every attempt to resolve the present
dilemma with the members of the Fire Department through these men who
are the representatives of the striking firemen. We have done as much as
is possible under the laws governing the City of Atlanta.
The Union leaders and striking firemen have shown an utter contempt
for the laws of the State of Georgia and the authority of the City of Atlanta.
They have also shown a reckless disregard for the property and lives of the
citizens of this city.
We can no longer tolerate action which places in jeopardy the
thousands of lives and millions of dollars of property which these men are
under sworn oath to protect. Therefore, we are directing all employees
of the Atlanta Fire Department who wish to remain as employees of the City
to report to duty on their normal shifts at 8:00 a.m. Friday and 6:00 p.m.
Friday. Anyone failing to report will be considered in violation of the City's
Civil Service Law and will be discharged for inattention to or dereliction
of duty. These jobs will then be declared open and applications will be
taken to fill those positions which remain vacant. We urge these employees
to consider their responsibilities to the people of Atlanta and to their own
families. Loss of income and loss of many years of retirement rights and
other accumulated benefits is a serious and foolish gamble they are taking
by refusing to return to their posts.
The City officials have met with the leaders of the Union in good
faith. These leaders have stated that they have asked the firemen to obey
the legal authority of the Court and return to their stations but there |
has been no response to this request from the Union leadership. Apporal a \
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the re art Mp lines oft Communicatt S Mow o pe Pei Corley Qeeohg es e
Capt. Martin and Capt. Styron apparently have no‘control:over the - by a
striking members because their request has been ignored. These two men
also have failed to comply with their own request and have not reported to
their duty stations.
We trust that the members of the Fire Department, many of whom
have worked long years of dedicated services, will consider their
responsibilities and obligations to the City, the laws of our State, and to
their families and return to work as directed.