Just two days after it was announced, the Philadelphia firefighters union has dropped its plan to collect 45,000 signatures aimed at recalling Mayor Michael Nutter.
Even if all the signatures had been collected, the city’s recall mechanism was struck down by the courts in the 1970s. Firefighters union spokesman Frank Keel says the union, reluctantly, has reconsidered.
“The reality is that it would be a very long and costly legal battle, the odds are very long in our potential to win,” he said Thursday. “By the time this weaved through the court system, the likelihood is this mayor would most likely, thankfully, finally be out of office.”
Keel says the firefighters are turning their efforts to a new petition.
Firefighters want “to get normal, everyday citizens of Philadelphia to sign a petition demanding that this mayor finally honor our binding arbitration award and to give these men and women the contract, the raise and the respect they deserve,” he said.
The firefighters union represents more than 4,000 current and retired firefighters and paramedics.
Their goal is to present the mayor with tens of thousands of signatures to show the public wants the city to implement a contract awarded by an arbitration panel. City officials contend the award is not affordable, and they’ll continue to fight it in court.