Fischer Receives Union Nods

by Gabe Bullard on September 1, 2010

Democratic mayoral candidate Greg Fischer accepted endorsements from 29 labor unions Monday. But Fischer’s Republican opponent Hal Heiner says the candidate is not being completely honest with those groups.

Among the unions endorsing Fischer are the United Auto Workers, Boilermakers and Teamsters. Local Teamsters vice president John Stovall says he supports Fischer because the Democrat opposes privatizing city services.

“[The] City of Louisville, right now, and the school board has criteria for people being hired—criminal background checks and all that,” he says. “When you go to privatization, you take all that away. You have to take the company or the management firm that’s running that, that they hire good people—you don’t know.”

In a debate in July, Fischer said he could not categorically rule out privatization if it would save the city money. But, he also said he opposes it and would try to cut costs in other ways first. In the same debate, Heiner said privatizing some services can save money. His campaign spokesperson says Fischer is being duplicitous with unions.

Fischer also again stated his support for two bridges over the Ohio River while accepting the union endorsements. Fischer said two bridges and other construction projects will put union members to work.

“Imagine a future here in the short term, where we go from the arena to Museum Plaza, the bridges, the new VA hospital…that’s a good picture,” he said. “We can do that as we move forward. It’s about jobs.”

On Tuesday, Fischer said he supports building an east-end bridge first, then a downtown bridge years later. Heiner has said the east-end bridge must be built first, but he supports delaying or modifying the downtown bridge and reworked Spaghetti Junction to save money. Independent Jackie Green favors shelving the project while public transportation is improved.

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