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Box 14, Folder 12, Document 86

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1966 Edi tor The Atlanta Journa l Atla nta, Georgia Dear Sir: It's doubtful t hat you'll pri ~t t his letter s ince you're obviously backing t he City po litica l machine , but you should know t hat the general p ublic has nothing but comt empt for the so- ca lle d loya l firemen. Loyal to wh om? Certainly not the citizens of Atlanta. They know the l argest ob jection of the st riki ng f iremen i s t he lowering of qua li f ica tions t he city ha s been insisting upon - even to the extent t ha t men l abele d as cowardl y and unfit by t he t ra ining s chool have been put to work ! All of thi s, of cou rse, brought on by t he low salarie s and long hours being una ttract ive to t he qua lity of men needed . I n rea lity - the striking men are t he men really loya l to the people - t hey are willing to put everything t hey have , as i ndividuals , i n jeopardy, i n order t o keep Atl 8 nt a ' s Fire Department on t he profess ional , level a city of thi s caliber should have . These so-ca lle1 lo ya l firemen are simply afraid of figh ting for what they know is ri ght - fear of losing a paychec k - or an opportun ity f or a promoti on and in some cases , hoping to get an unearned posit ion by default. In ot her words , t he weak members sta yed on the job - refusing to even back up the men fighting for them ~ I hope there are no fires i nvol ving lives beca use the se men won 't take a risk. Five-hundred fifty men are by far the majority. They couldn't be all wrong ! I wonder how Mayor Allen can face t he citizens knowing he could have averted this situat i on by simply letting a Judge decide t he~ssue . His pride has Atlanta in a dange rous and serious situa tion. Sincerely,

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