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11th hour directive forbids fire fighters from giving away pink T-shirts

Like many affiliates participating in breast cancer awareness campaigns this month, Stockton, CA Local 456 contacted us about its "Passionately Pink for the Cure" campaign. But unlike stories from other IAFF affiliates, we were disheartened to hear that late last night, the Stockton city manager emailed fire fighters with a directive that prohibits fire fighters from either selling or giving away any "Go Pink" T-shirts bearing the Stockton Fire Department name. Local 456 members face disciplinary action for violating the directive. 

Local 456 funded and designed the T-shirts to raise money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

In addition, although the Stockton fire chief had previously agreed to allow fire fighters to wear the pink T-shirts on duty every day this week, the city manager would only authorize fire fighters to wear the T-shirts for one day - today.

Local 456 President Dave Macedo tells us that this is just another attack by the city in its attempt to diminish a positive image for Stockton fire fighters. Local 456 has been engaged in a heated and well-publicized labor dispute with the City of Stockton. 

Local 456 fire fighters, who publically announced earlier this week that they would be selling the pink fire fighter T-shirts today while helping bag groceries at Safeway, continued with their plans to bag groceries, and will find other ways to raise funds and donate towards finding a cure. Local 456 has also sent a press release to all Northern California media contacts, calling this is a "pure political move" to breakdown the union.

"The tactics by the City in its campaign to repeal Binding Interest Arbitration (Measure H) continue to be illegal and deceitful in many ways," Macedo says. "The city manager’s pettiness and mean-spirited actions do nothing but harm the cause of raising funds to battle breast cancer."

We think this city manager's inability to set aside his political differences with fire fighters for a cause as deserving as breast cancer research is just plain sad.

We encourage Stockton Local 456 to enter its pink T-shirt in our online "best pink campaign T-shirt design contest - we didn't see anything in the city's directive prohibiting that.

Comments (8) -

  • Chris Ruwe (Colerain Township)

    10/22/2010 9:56:44 PM |

    To the members of Stockton Local 456,

    Keep up the good fight!! This is a great cause!! Hopefully this guy might just wake up and realize that he is a big CANCER to your city.  

  • Chad Zeller (Saint Bernard)

    10/23/2010 6:30:32 AM |

    Local 1468

    Government of the St. Bernard Parish supported our efforts. I am pleased that our Brothers across the country are doing their part. It is unfortunate for Local 456 to have to deal with this very unusual and unsupportive local government.

    Sorry Brothers

    Chad Zeller

  • Richard Ruehl (Howard County)

    10/27/2010 6:02:52 PM |

    That's a shame.  Our Chief was very supportive of our efforts, as was everyone in County Government.  When area counties were asked to light up a building to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness, our County Executive said, "Why don't we light up a fire station to support the fire fighters with their efforts?"

    Don't let it get you down, and keep up the fight against the City.

    Fraternally, Rich Ruehl

  • LeRoy Marcotte (Myrtle Beach Professional Fire Fighters Association)

    10/28/2010 4:39:02 AM |

    Brothers, I challenge all IAFF members to send a DONATION to local 456 to help them raise money for this great cause and to show City Hall that we can over come anything that is dealt to us. I hope that other IAFF Fire Fighters will send what they can to help you raise the money for Susan G. Komen.

    Brother LeRoy J. Marcotte
    IAFF Local 2345 Myrtle Beach, SC.
    IAFF Local A0039 SC Prof. FF Assoc. Sec./ Treas.

  • Kevin Krause (Romulus)

    11/5/2010 4:38:04 PM |

    We were turned down all together.  We wanted to wear the pink, but were told no. Hope by next year we can change our Chiefs mind.

  • Jeff Birrenkott (West Valley City)

    11/5/2010 7:34:35 PM |

    It's extremely frustrating when you have deal with "dough heads" who don't, or won't, see the big picture.  I would hope that the idiot would wake up see that the pink shirt program is a "win win" proposition for the who city and community.

    Brothers, don't let him get you down, fight the good fight.

  • Dave Conway (Chico)

    11/5/2010 8:14:28 PM |

    I can not imagine anyone who has experienced cancer themselves, or in family or friends, opposing such a good program. I also do not know anybody who has not been touched by this terrible disease. Politics can also be a terrible thing. Keep up the good work. Keep doing good things.

  • George Bolly (Ann Arbor)

    11/6/2010 12:04:32 PM |

    Typical of how some City Managers conduct business. Wonder if one of his close family members had to fight this disease if he might act differently. As a cancer survivor I pity anyone who would not understand how much this campaign means in the fight to eliminate all cancers.

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