Striking Detroit water workers won't be fired; strike over

Strike over, workers return, nobody at Detroit Water and Sewerage Department fired

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DETROIT - A strike by Detroit Water and Sewerage Department workers is over and the city's threat to fire 34 striking workers has been withdrawn.

Several members of AFSCME Local 207 walked off the job last weekend, angered by plans to severely reduce the number of workers at the department.

The city obtained a temporary restraining order from a federal judge to prohibit the strike, but several workers returned to the picket line.

The city then sent letters to 34 employees, advising them that they were suspended and would be terminated Oct. 10. The employees will undergo disciplinary measure on Friday.

On Thursday, local union leaders announced the strike was over and all workers were returning to their jobs. The union members who had been threatened with termination will not be fired.

The union will continue to negotiate with the city over a new contract.

"This is a victory for the city of Detroit because it has set the precedent that unions, the community and the city of Detroit can stand up against the whole array of powers-that-be and win," said John Riehl, AFSCME Local 207 president, in a news release. "The courts, the Mayor, the Water Board Management, working in concert, could not defeat this strike and cannot defeat us if we unite and militantly fight together."

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