Council 25

City of Detroit Water and Sewage Department Workers!

October 2, 2012

Attention: Detroit Water/Sewer Department Members

From: MI Council 25 AFSCME

Re: Comply with Court Order – Let Common sense prevail in Court!

Walkout caused by frustrations felt by good people doing dirty, dangerous work without the most basic tools. Four million people in Michigan remain at risk due to bad management practices

Detroit – Michigan AFSCME Council 25 is asking all of the members in the City of Detroit Water and Sewage Department to comply with a federal judge’s restraining order issued today.

“We understand the frustration felt by the hard working men and women in the water department,” said Al Garrett, President, Michigan AFSCME Council 25. “Poor working conditions, lack of equipment and inadequate staffing levels have pushed people to the breaking point. The walkout is a manifestation of frustrations felt by good people doing dirty, dangerous work without the most basic tools needed to get the job done.”

Management at the department has failed to provide even the most basic needs of its employees for several decades now. Four million people living in Detroit and 76 surrounding communities remain at risk due to conditions in the department. Employees commonly report making critical repairs to the water system using little more than ordinary duct tape and elbow grease.

The federal court has also noted how management in the department has consistently failed to adhere to the original consent judgment issued in 1977. Poor equipment, shoddy management practices, inadequate personnel and other concerns were noted in 1980, 1983, 1984, 1990, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Still no genuine relief has been provided for the working families at DWSD.

Instead, people were recently told some 80-percent of them would lose their jobs under a proposal that seriously endangers the ability to provide clean, safe water and sewage disposal.

“How anybody in their right mind can conclude that a system providing billions of gallons of water and sewage to millions of people can operate with just 20-percent of the people currently doing the work today and do it safely just boggles the mind,” said Garrett. “Our hope is that common sense will prevail in court so that working people do not have to take to the streets in an effort to protect the public.”




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