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Lewis Reed Accuses Mayor Slay of Union Busting

Kevin Killeen
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Lewis Reed (left) at news conference with Carpenter's Union Business Representative Jo-Ann Williams

Lewis Reed (left) at news conference with Carpenter’s Union Business Representative Jo-Ann Williams

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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)--Courting the union vote, Mayoral hopeful Lewis Reed stood on the steps of city hall accusing Mayor Slay of pushing a plan to force new city hires to sign a document waiving their benefits.

“I think that this is obviously an attack on worker’s rights,” Reed told the crowd of some 150 supporters, many of them union firefighters caught in a long dispute with the Slay Administration over benefits.

At issue is a document new city employees were asked to sign — as a condition of their employment — agreeing that the city has the right to “unilaterally ” change their benefits.

The document caused an uproar with the Carpenters Union, which represents some five-hundred city workers.

But before Reed could get his ten o’clock news conference underway, Mayor Slay was in damage control, holding an 8:00 a.m. meeting with local labor leaders to mend fences.

Bob Soutier, Greater St. Louis Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Bob Soutier, Greater St. Louis Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Emerging from the Mayor’s office, Bob Soutier, President of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO announced that the mayor has “withdrawn” the document, and it will be re-written.  Soutier says Slay still has his endorsement.

“He was not in support of this. He totally favored changing it to make it more clear,” Soutier said, “He agrees it’s harshly written. He did not have a hand in writing this.”

Reed told his supporters that evidence suggests the mayor’s office was closely involved in writing the document.

“And when you take a look at the email trail, it’s plain to see that this came from the Mayor’s office,” Reed said, “They knew about it, and they worked to put it in place.”

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