City union members call for negotiations
By DAN KULIN
As hundreds gathered to see the Olympic flame arrive at Hagerstown's Public Square, about 100 city employees from the workers' unions picketed in front of City Hall a block away.
Union representatives said they want Hagerstown's Mayor and City Council to meet them at the negotiating table.
Union members carried signs that read "Support your city workers," "Bad faith bargaining" and "We want negotiations now."
"We just want to get their attention," said Gary Rowe, a public works employee and president of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1540, which represents many employees in the city's water, sewer and public works departments.
Mayor William M. Breichner criticized the unions for picketing on the day the Olympic torch came through downtown.
"This was a day to celebrate the Olympics. (The picketing) could have been done another time," Breichner said.