Politics & Government
2:15 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Striking Detroit sewer and water employees ordered back to work

U.S. District Judge Sean Cox has ordered a stop to a strike by workers in the Detroit water and sewer department.

But a union attorney says workers are not expected to be back on the job immediately. Attorney George Washington says a motion will be filed to dissolve the federal judge's motion.

Washington says, nobody will return to work until they have talked with their union leaders.

The Detroit Free Press reports that union lawyers are working to get Judge Cox off the case:

Lawyers for striking Detroit water and sewer workers want U.S. District Judge Sean Cox booted off their case, arguing he is acted as both a judge and a party to the dispute.

“This man is acting like an emergency financial manager on steroids,” said George Washington, one of the lawyers representing AFSCME 207, the union that represents more than 1,000 workers for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. “This is being managed as a dictatorship.”

The workers began the strike yesterday, to protest plans to eliminate most jobs through privatization or other steps.

The Detroit water and sewer department serves about 4 million people in southeastern Michigan.