IAFF: Syndicated News

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IAFF: Syndicated News:

Marathon, Florida Local Leader Unfairly Suspended

January 10, 2006 – The City of Marathon, Florida has ordered the suspension of Lieutenant Robert Abad, secretary-treasurer of Marathon, FL Local 4396, for an article he wrote in the Marathon/Big Pine Free Press regarding fire department safety and staffing issues.

According to Walter J. Dix, 12th District Field Service Representative for the IAFF, no reason for the suspension was given in the letter to Abad but he was told it was because of what he wrote. The city has opposed the unionization of its fire fighters who are awaiting certification from the Florida Public Employment Relations Commission. Meanwhile, the IAFF is fighting the city’s decision to suspend Abad.

The Marathon Fire Department has a total of 16 employees, including 12 fire fighters/paramedics. Paid fire fighters are supplemented with volunteer fire fighters on certain calls.

Abad’s suspension comes just weeks after Plantation, FL Local 4430 President Jeffery Poole was wrongfully terminated from his job for forming a labor union and filing a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) lawsuit against that city. The IAFF is providing legal representation for Poole.

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