It may not win him the election, but on Thursday, long-shot mayoral candidate T. Milton Street Sr. pulled off a not-so-small coup by winning the endorsement of the city’s firefighters’ union. The executive board of Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters – with about 2,100 active members – chose Street as their candidate over Mayor Nutter after meeting with Street Thursday morning.
The union has feuded with Nutter since he deactivated seven companies as the recession hit in January 2009. Last year, Nutter cut paramedics out of the union after an overtime dispute, and appealed a contract arbitration award in November that gave firefighters 3 percent raises in each year for fiscal 2011-13 and exempted them from furloughs. Nutter argued that the fire contract was too expensive, but at the time, Local 22 president Bill Gault called it “a slap in the face.” LINK
You can’t make this stuff up. Our local, IAFF Local 22 has decided, without consulting the membership, to endorse Milton Street for mayor of Philadelphia. For those of you outside the Philly region who may not know him, Milton is the brother of former Mayor John “The brothers and sisters are in charge” Street. He’s a deadbeat felon with NO SHOT of being elected dogcatcher, let alone mayor.
This endorsement, safe to say, has turned our local into a laughing stock and has virtually assured us more and even greater abuse from city hall. It isn’t a stretch to say this endorsement may even have personal, career implications for me. Further cuts to the fire department will only destroy my chances for advancement. A spiteful mayor Nutter has already shown he cares little about public safety. We have little to gain at this point by provoking him further.