An on-line petition has been started to protest the Fort Wayne City Council’s attempts at eliminating collective bargaining for the City’s unionized employees.
From the petition:
Fort Wayne City Council
Petition by Brent Eastom
To be delivered to Thomas Smith, Fort Wayne City Council, Thomas Didier, Fort Wayne City Council, Martin Bender, Fort Wayne City Council, Russell Jehl, Fort Wayne City Council, Mitchell Harper, Fort Wayne City Council, and John Crawford, Fort Wayne City Council
This is to notify you that I am opposed to all three ordinances regarding modifying or eliminating collective bargaining for Fort Wayne City employees.
If this action was truly about the budget, then it should involve a comprehensive plan that examines all city employees from the Mayor all the way down, not just the wages and benefits of union workers.
Using a platform that states that “unions have too much control” is ridiculous, given the fact that the City Council is the final authority in approving contracts with the unionized workers in Fort Wayne.
I do not appreciate the fact that these ordinances were developed and introduced without any notice or opportunity for public input. The members of the City Council are supposed to represent me, the taxpayer, not their personal political interests.
In closing, I am respectfully requesting that you vote “no” on these proposed ordinances.
An email interview with the petition’s organizer, Brent Eastom who is president of the local 901 of the IUE-CWA union.
1. Why did you begin the petition?
The reason for the petition even being brought forward is a guy by the name of Andrew Clark. He works for the city with the municipal unions. His fiancÃ©, Brittany Graham, works for BAE Systems, along with myself and several other co-workers that are concerned about this policy. She and her mother started a Facebook page, Persons Supporting Collective Bargaining in Fort Wayne, and just the whole family thing drew us in to basically show and raise awareness.
2. You are president of the local 901 of the IUE-CWA union. How important are unions today?
It’s not just about public unions. It’s about private unions. It’s about families, and it’s about all of these people that if you reduce their living wage in Fort Wayne, it’s just a downhill tumble from there. Removing collective bargaining reduces middle class income.
3. How has the response to this petition been thus far?
We are a little over 1,200 signatures in a matter of 3-4 days. Considering the holiday weekend, this is substantial. The more people hear the facts, the more they will understand the truth that these Public Unions don’t have as much leverage as the City Council would like to let on considering they have the final say on the contracts being approved.
4. How hopeful are you that the City Council will consider your petition and re-consider their positions on this issue?
I am extremely hopeful that the City Council stops and looks at the facts. It is extremely important to look at actual data, listen to the citizens, and make informed decisions. They should not be attempting to steamroll an ordinance that has as huge of an impact on people’s livelihoods like this that could dramatically impact families.
5. Anything you’d like to add?
If we as families and we as voting citizens can step up to the plate to show these councilmen that people care, see what they’re doing, and these same people who have votes can vote them out and put in more responsible representatives that actually want to hear them and what they have to say.
The more and more people that show the concern, that it’s not just 7 or 800 union members that are being impacted. It’s their friends, it’s their families, it’s the community that are very concerned. These are all voting people that can vote them out of office very easily if they don’t actually listen to the concerns of the citizens.