Union workers won't settle for wage freezes, health care costs

Hundreds of union members gathered to protest a local fact finder report. / Tim Wening

The area's largest employee union is up in arms about a fact finders report.

The rejected report, which was released last week by an independent fact finder, requires workers to pay more toward health care, pension costs and go on a wage freeze for two years. Altogether, 659 AFSCME Local 7 members voted against the report, while only 52 workers voted in favor.

Hundreds of union members protested in front of city hall on Tuesday, holding signs and shouting their criticisms in unison at Mayor Mike Bell.

"We pay taxes here, we shop here. These people and their families want to stick around," one protestor told WNWO.

According to published reports, the city has been looking for ways to cut labor costs to help balance the budget. The Toledo City Council is meeting today to discuss the report.

The Local 7 worries that if the city council approves the recommendation, many families will be left unable to support themselves. Representatives for the union maintain they are just asking for fair wages and benefits--things they have given up in the past to help the city save money.