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Emmaus firefighters get green light to vote on union

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: May 16 2014 12:39:10 PM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2014 04:43:17 PM CDT
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EMMAUS, Pa. -

Firefighters in one Lehigh County borough will have the chance to form a union.

Emmaus firefighters will vote on Wednesday to decide whether or not they want to form a collective bargaining unit.

The Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board ruled that the firefighters, even though long thought of as volunteers, are considered employees of the borough and will be able to take up the matter next week.

"We're pleased with the decision and we look forward to the election taking place May 21," said Matthew Areman, spokesman for the firefighters.

Atty. Thomas Dinkelacker, the Emmaus solicitor, said the borough disagrees with the labor board's decision. He added the borough has not decided whether or not it will appeal if the election comes down in favor of the union.

Dinkelacker said the election will be between 4 and 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The solicitor said whoever shows up votes, with no proxy or absentee ballots.

He said a tie vote goes in favor of a union.

If the measure passes, the group will be represented by the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association.

Fire Chief James Reiss would not be considered for the union representation.