Members of Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters today asked their fellow union members from around the country to help pressure Mayor Nutter on their contact stalemate. The members, wearing red t-shirts that said Philadelphia Firefighers on the back and sported the Gadsden Flag's snake and "Don't tread on me" motto on the back, handed out fliers at two entrances to the Pennsylvania Convention Center as union visitors left the building for lunch.
The flier read: "Please. We need your help. Philadelphia firefighters have been without a contract for three years, Mayor Nutter refuses to sign the legally arbitrated award. Please ask your delegates to demand that Mayor Nutter sign the award. Thank you and stay safe. Please stand with us!"
Union leader Bill Gault said the flier distribution was not an official Local 22 action. But he seemed pleased with the effort, standing in front of the Convention Center watching the action. As we reported on July 13, Vice President Joe Biden will speak to the conventioneers on Wednesday.
"All I want him to say is: Mayor Nutter, sign the arbitrator's award," Gault said of Biden.
An arbitration panel on July 2 sided with Philadelphia's firefighters by largely upholding terms of a 2010 ruling and giving them retroactive pay raises, more money for health care and protection from furloughs. Nutter has until Aug. 2 to appeal.