Providence Fire Fighters Censure Mayor David Cicilline
October 5, 2006 – More than 300 delegates and alternates voted overwhelming during the Rhode Island AFL-CIO Convention to approve a resolution submitted by Providence, RI Local 799 to request that the AFL-CIO notify all Rhode Island labor organizations to request that Providence Mayor David Cicilline cease and desist his anti-union positions and actions against the members of Providence Local 799.
“Mayor Cicilline should seriously consider the sentiments expressed in this censure resolution in future negotiations with Local 799,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “
Members of Providence Local 799 have been engaged in ongoing battles with Mayor Cicilline, particularly on issues related to public safety, since his election to office in 2001. Additionally, Mayor Cicilline has continued to implement adverse and demeaning internal policies and conditions that Local 799 has spent thousands of dollars in legal fees fighting to overturn.
For more than five years, Providence fire fighters worked without a contract, despite promises from Mayor Cicilline to work with Local 799 to negotiate a fair agreement within 30 days of his election. Mayor Cicilline’s administration also sought to cut fire fighters from an already under-staffed Providence Fire Department.
In June 2005, IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger, Providence Local 799 President Paul Doughty, IAFF 3rd District Vice President Michael Mullane, Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters President Frank Montanaro and more than 350 fire fighters from across New England gathered at Providence City Hall to call on Mayor Cicilline to keep his promise of a new contract and demonstrate a renewed commitment to adequate public safety for the people of Providence.
Mayor Cicilline continues to routinely force Local 799 to seek remedies through arbitration to resolve issues that could be resolved through cooperative communication.
Local 799 was greatly assisted in the effort to pass the censure resolution by Rhode Island State Association of Fire Fighters President Frank Montanaro, who also serves as president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO.
Local 799 President Paul Doughty says, “We are sending a strong message to the mayor that an injury to one labor union is an injury to us all. I hope he will realize that there is strength in unity and decide to sit down and talk to us in good faith.”