DETROIT - Members of the Detroit Firefighters union are holding informational pickets across the city Monday in an attempt to bring attention to recent job cuts and fire station closures.
A press release provided by the demonstrators reads:
Detroit Fire Fighters continue to do more with less only to be told by our administration that people die everyday. Well we believe that thought process is unacceptable. The more the city continues to close Fire Stations the longer are response times become. Insurance rates continue to rise due to the lack of coverage and manpower. In the 100 plus years of this great Fire Dept. we have never seen such an intentional dismantling of Detroit Fire which in turn hurts the citizens. We will be discussing many others issues with the public and the media starting July 22,2013 and continuing everyday for at least a week. Our informative demonstration will be in front of various Fire Houses across the city simultaneously.
The demonstrations come just days after Detroit made history by filing for Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy.
Tens of thousands of current and retired city workers face the risk of significantly smaller pension checks.
As part of a reorganization plan, Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has proposed to cut the city's debt by nearly 83% from $11.5 billion to $2 billion. Among those reductions, Orr has proposed major pension cuts for both current and former city workers.
"There must be significant cuts in accrued, vested pension amounts for both active and currently retired persons," Orr wrote in the June proposal to creditors.
If the cuts are approved, that would ultimately mean that retirees would see smaller checks than they're currently receiving and workers would retire with lower benefits than expected.