Just as firefighters were ready to turn in their gear, a temporary injunction keeps them on the job a little longer.
The New London firefighters union was granted an injunction just an hour before 25 firefighters were to be laid off.
A judge granted the injunction around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
On Monday night, the City Council tabled a measure on concessions that would have prevented the layoffs.
Seconds after that announcement came, emotions were high and the New London Fire Department revolted and trashed the mayor’s car.
There was also yelling and screaming, and the situation was so heated, police were called in.
“My profound apologies on behalf of the city of New London,” Mayor Daryl Finizio said as he addressed the firefighters at city hall. He told dozens they’re jobs are definitely gone.
Layoffs were supposed to take effect at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
“There’s no excuse for this. You’re sending 25 guys home tomorrow. It's unfathomable. I’m disgusted with the whole process,” Rocco Basilica, president of the firefighters union, said.
Basilica said the layoffs would have caused the department to be down to 43 people.
Eighteen firefighters have to be on a shift, and with one third of the force gone, many would be required to work overtime, roughly 80 to 100 hours a week, he said. That could lead to exhaustion and possible slower response times.
“Don't put public safety at risk,” one community member said.
A lot of people blamed the mayor for the layoffs. He proposed the cuts a few months ago, but said the city council had the final say.
“The City Council has failed to act on a very reasonable agreement,” Finizio said.
Now the vote will not be revisited until the next city council meeting. The council meets the first and third Monday of every month.
The concessions in the agreement the mayor and the union reached included a provision that would reduce the mandatory number of firefighters per shift, an elimination of raises this year and leaves vacant positions open. The agreement would save the city about $1 million.