Laid Off Workers in Elizabeth March on Mayor’s House
ELIZABETH, N.J. (AP) _ Shouting and clapping, about 150 relatives and supporters of laid-off police, firefighters and rescue workers in this city marched to the mayor’s house Saturday to demand his recall.
Some marchers pushed babies in strollers or walked dogs dressed in union T- shirts. Most demonstrators wore black T-shirts reading, ″R.I.P. Elizabeth. She was a Proud Lady. Shot in the Back by Mayor Thomas G. Dunn.″
″This is to show him how many people this is affecting,″ said Nancy Munnings, who helped organize the protest at Dunn’s house and whose husband, Robert, is to be laid off May 31.
She said the layoffs in this New Jersey city near New York were ″affecting children and families and the officers who remain who won’t have their backups. That’s what we’re trying to show him today. No husbands allowed.″
Dunn did not appear to be home.
Saturday’s protest was made possible when Superior Court Judge Edward W. Beglin on Friday refused to extend a restraining order prohibiting protests at Dunn’s home. The order was issued last month after a crowd of police officers, firefighters and ambulance workers vandalized Dunn’s house during a protest.
On April 14, Dunn laid off 67 police officers, 53 firefighters, and 24 emergency medical technicians, citing a budget shortfall brought on by cuts in state aid and rising garbage disposal costs.
Thirty-four more police officers and another 29 firefighting jobs are to be cut May 31, said Paul Partanza, president of the Police Benevolent Association of Elizabeth.
The police and the others contend Dunn’s action has severely compromised the city’s ability to control crime and handle emergencies.
After the first wave of layoffs last month, laid-off workers and supporters started a campaign to recall Dunn.