African-American firefighters sue union

    African-American Firefighers in Philadelphia are filing suit in federal court asking for the appointment of a civil rights monitor at the union that represents them. The suit follows allegations of racial incidents at the union hall.

    African-American Firefighers in Philadelphia are filing suit in federal court asking for the appointment of a civil rights monitor at the union that represents them. The suit follows allegations of racial incidents at the union hall.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091112tmfire.mp3]

    The suit contends Local 22 of the International Association of Firefighters has created a hostile environment to the point that African Americans don’t feel comfortable there. Brian Mildenberg represents Club Valients, the African American Firefighters group. He says the group’s leader has been threatened at the union hall.

    Mildenberg: Ken Greene, our client has basically been told he should be thrown out of the union hall when he raised a protest concerning unfair treatment of African Americans. In addition the union has no African American employees with the exception of one janitor.

    The suit says union leadership is dominated by members of a group dedicated to ending a 25-year-old federal consent decree that paved the way for the hiring of many African American firefighters. Union officials deny the allegations.

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