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July 7, 2003

Teamsters Local 170 in Worcester, Massachusetts filed an unfair labor practice complaint Monday, July 7 after the town of Brimfield dismissed all 18 of its police officers while an organizing campaign was under way.
“The town’s selectmen are anti-union, and their decision to dismiss the police force is putting the residents of Brimfield in harm’s way,” said Dick Foley, Local 170 Secretary-Treasurer. “Local 170 represents officers in 15 communities, and I’ve never seen anything like this, where the town gets rid of the entire police force.”

Local 170 began discussions with the police officers in April, and a representation election is pending. However, selectmen failed to reappoint the 18 officers by June 30.

The complaint filed Monday seeks the officers’ lost wages including paid details.

“The selectmen also violated the state open meeting law by holding two executive, closed-door meetings this past weekend,” Foley said.

Those dismissed include 10 full-time officers and eight part-time officers.

A State Police spokesman told a Worcester newspaper that troopers will respond to life-threatening calls but will not “attend to routine requests for service” until the dispute is settled.

“Brimfield residents are angry at the town’s decision,” Foley said.
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