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Posted on Sat. Jun. 07, 2014 - 12:01 am EDT

Saturday rally to support collective bargaining for city of Fort Wayne workers

NAACP president still hopes to change council members' minds

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The Fort Wayne chapter of the NAACP will sponsor a rally Saturday to mobilize public support in opposition to efforts to eliminate collective bargaining for non-public safety city employees.

Chapter President the Rev.Saharra Bledsoe said the rally, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Courthouse Green at 100 Main St. in downtown Fort Wayne, is intended to give the public a chance to discuss City Council's plan to end collective bargaining for employees represented by six unions. City Council passed the ordinance last month but must pass it again, possibly Tuesday, before the bill can be considered by Mayor Tom Henry. Henry has promised to veto the bill, and the vote of six of nine council members is needed to override a veto.

Six of council's nine members – all Republicans – have voted in favor of the ordinance.

Although council members supporting the bill have given no indication they intend to change their minds, Bledsoe said she remains hopeful Saturday's event can alter the outcome.

“This deserves a public hearing, and more needs to be heard from both sides,” Bledsoe told reporters Friday. “I serve a God who controls all things, and, together, we can move mountains. So why not (try)?”

Bledsoe said she hopes hundreds of people – or even thousands – will attend Saturday's event.

If council approves the bill Tuesday, Henry would have up to 10 days to issue a veto.

kleininger@news-sentinel.com


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