Actually, it doesn’t surprise me that a labor attorney would suggest such a strong-arm tactic to get the union to “knuckle under” and agree to their demands because it is an attorney’s job to present options to the commissioners. What DOES surprise me, though, is that the commissioners would choose to approve this ill-advised “strategy”. We are in the midst of a pandemic for goodness sake! Do the commissioners really think that telling these dedicated men and their families that they have just two days to fend for themselves for their health care, living with the reality that any one of us can come in contact with, and succumb to, this deadly disease, is the right thing to do?? Put them and their families at risk so the township can claim some sort of “win”?? These men are good-to-the-core, hardworking, real people out in the elements year-round to ensure we have clean water, working sewers, safe streets and parks to enjoy.
In testimony before Lehigh County Judge Reibman seeking an injunction on February 16, the township attorney and staff said the Public Works employees performed critical jobs for the residents and argued that contractors cannot perform this work as efficiently or effectively. Does this sound like an endorsement for their value and worth, or what? Apparently, that testimony wasn’t good enough for the majority of the commissioners. They gave the negotiating team the green light to keep pounding away.
This negotiation will be resolved, perhaps even today, but the damage it has caused will linger on for a long time to come.
I hear the calls for change getting louder and louder. Stay tuned.