“Too early”: New York firefighters boycott teleprinter parade for frontline workers


New York City firefighters and correctional officers were noticeably absent from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tape recorder parade for the coronavirus pandemic “Hometown Heroes” on Wednesday – due to a boycott called by their union because ‘a smoker is seriously ill with COVID -19.

In an “official communication” released before the event, the leaders of the Uniformed Firefighters Association called on the bravest to “show solidarity … and to refrain from any participation in tomorrow’s parade”.

“We are taking this position because the time to celebrate has not yet arrived,” UFA president Andrew Ansbro and recording secretary wrote on Tuesday.


“Our members still risk their lives on a daily basis from exposure to covid-related illnesses. Indeed, we currently have one member in intensive care with covid-related pneumonia.”

They added, “We will keep him and his family in our thoughts.”

After none of the FDNY’s 9,000 active-duty smoke smokers were among the marchers in Lower Manhattan’s famed “Heroes’ Canyon” along Broadway, Ansbro issued a public statement lashing out at Blasio for not have obtained the promised bonus for smoke smokers.

“Last year, Mayor de Blasio requested federal funding for risk premiums,” Ansbro said.

“The federal government provided this funding under the American Rescue Act, but to date the mayor has broken that promise. Rather than a parade, a more appropriate gesture would be to keep that promise.”

Ansbro also mentioned the unidentified firefighter battling COVID-19, saying: “We think prayers for his recovery and a remembrance for those lost are more appropriate than a parade right now.”

Ansbro told the Post it was not clear exactly how the firefighter got infected, but noted he was working in an area known to be a coronavirus “hot spot”.

De Blasio’s political rival, Governor Andrew Cuomo, last month announced plans to create an ‘eternal flame’ to honor the estimated 50,000 New Yorkers killed by the coronavirus, surrounded by 19 maple trees to pay tribute to various categories essential workers, including one for firefighters.

Local opposition forced Cuomo to abandon the original ‘Circle of Heroes’ monument site in Battery Park City’s Rockefeller Park last week, but a spokesperson said it would be moved elsewhere in the neighborhood.


City paramedics also boycotted Wednesday’s parade on their entry pay of just $ 16.95 an hour, less than $ 2 more than the legal minimum of $ 15 an hour.

The chief of Local 2507, which represents paramedics, said last month that the salary treated the city’s “street medics” as “indentured servants”.

“The fairness scales here are far from aligned,” union leader Oren Barzilay told The Post.

The town hall did not immediately return a request for comment.

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