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Union Leaders Meet With Mount Vernon Mayor Regarding Recent Firings

Members of the CSEA Local 860 Union gathered for a rally protesting the firings of two Mount Vernon city employees.
Members of the CSEA Local 860 Union gathered for a rally protesting the firings of two Mount Vernon city employees. Photo Credit: CSEA Local 860

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - A local union is calling on Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas to reinstate a pair of city employees they believe were improperly fired earlier this month.

On Monday, union workers who are a part of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) rallied outside City Hall to protest the dismissals of two members of Mount Vernon’s workforce.

According to the CSEA, Thomas notified the CSEA City of Mount Vernon President that his job was being terminated on Jan. 1, a day before his firing. The CSEA also alleges that the city dismissed member a building inspector and nine-year employee without cause and without a hearing.

Union leaders have also alleged that “another current employee has been the target of retaliation since February of 2016, after he did not testify favorably in a court case against the city in which he was summoned by the City Council.

Thomas could not be immediately reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon. CSEA representatives said they’ve met with Thomas, but have been unable to resolve certain issues. They are reportedly seeking attorneys and labor specialists as they prepare legal action.

“Mayor Thomas has the opportunity to do the right thing and bring these employees back to work,” CSEA Westchester County Local President John Staino said. “It would be beneficial for both the city and CSEA if we could avoid legal action, but we have prevailed before in these cases and will do so again. Instead of being the breath of fresh air he promised to be, Mayor Thomas is disgracing City Hall.”

CSEA Southern Region President Billy Riccaldo added that he believed the city was in violation of state laws.

“This blatant disregard for state law and fair workplace treatment is chilling, to say the least,” he said in a statement. “We’re putting Mayor Thomas on notice that he should reinstate these workers and knock off the retaliation, or we will proceed with legal action. By ignoring state law, Mayor Thomas is showing himself as anti-worker and hurting city taxpayers in the process.”

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