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Detroit water department workers end five-day strike

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

A five-day strike by workers at the water department serving southeast Michigan has ended.

Officials with AFSCME Local 207 say the strike ended in victory.

Shanta Driver is a lawyer for the union. She says the agreement brokered with Detroit Water and Sewerage Department management calls for the 34 workers who received termination notices to keep their jobs.

"All of those people are certain not to get terminated," Driver said. "Everybody's termination has been rescinded."

Driver says the union also won the right to bargain over issues it was precluded from discussing before. The department is under the oversight of a federal judge. Last year, U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox ruled that the department could bypass union contracts in order to speed compliance with the federal Clean Water Act. Cox is overseeing the department as part of a decades-old pollution lawsuit.

Officials with the water department were not available for comment Thursday evening.


Sarah Hulett is Michigan Public's Director of Amplify & Longform, helping reporters to do their best work.