Box 14, Folder 12, Document 51

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The firemen came before a meeting of the Fire Committee under the
chairmanship of Alderman Milton Farris. The Committee agreed to
more than was recommended by the arbitrator. They agreed to grant
a 2=<step 8.8% wage increase effective January 1 (the first legal
date; as Dr. Ed Harrison, as arbitrator, had double-checked the
degality and had gotten a written opinion from the City Attorney
and other legal counsel). In addition, the City agreed to begin
employing, in October,72 additional men so that they would be
trained and, effective January 1, they would cut the work=-work from
60 to 56 hours. It would require 72 additional men to fully man the
stations and reduce the hourly work-week to this extent.

From the standpoint of the overall -cost to the City, the new men
reflected an equivalent of 7.2% increase in wages. This, added to
the 8.8% offered, meant a 16% increase to the City.

The firemen let the meeting without comment and walked off the job
the next day. The City had anticipated this, had drawn the necessary
injunctions, and had secured a legal injunction that evening prevent-
ing the firemen from leaving their jobs. This injunction was
publicized and made effective, but the men refused to return to work.

A meeting was held with the Mayor, City Attorney, and the chief of

the Firefighters. Chief Hildebrand was authorized and did issue
direct orders to each of the men to return to work under the authority
of the injunction, and further gave direct orders that if they did not
they would be either fired or suspended, depending upon their status
under Civil Service rights.


After this action was taken, the Mayor received a personal letter
from Archbishop Hallinan, apparently instigated at the request of
the Firefighters. He suggested that the Mayor appoint Judge Sam
McKenzie to review the legal opinions involved in the granting of
wage increases during the year 1966. The Mayor declined to accept
this suggestion, because they had already taken the steps of
supporting Chief Hildebrand in the notification of each member of
the Fire Department ordering them back to work with the alternative
of suspension, Secondly, if the opinion of the City Attorney and
other counsel had been overturned by Judge McKenzie, they were not
able to financially meet the demands of the union. The felt the
only course open to them was the one taken of firing those who
refused to work and replacing them with recruits.

I thought you would want to have these facts as presented by the

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