Disruptions Open Council's First Meeting

Today is the council's first meeting since it went on recess in mid-July.

Empower D.C., a group that protests the sale of public land for private use, backs the council plan. The group drew dozens of supporters to the Wilson Building for a demonstration that began at about 9 a.m. "Stop selling public land. D.C. Council take a stand," they yelled in sing-song unison.

Their numbers ballooned as they were joined by the locals of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Government Employees.

The labor unions were actually at the Wilson Building to draw attention to what they say has been unfair terminations of employees throughout District agencies, the result of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's unwritten zero tolerance policy.

The demonstration of 200 people appeared to be under the umbrella of anti-Fenty.

"Mayor Adrian Fenty and those in his administration have run roughshod over city employees; violating personnel regulations, ignoring collective bargaining agreements, and abandoning labor-management partnerships," Eric Bunn, president of AFGE Council 211, said in a statement. "While the challenges facing DC agencies have been widely reported, the Mayor has avoided accepting responsibility for the failures of his administration by offering city employees as scapegoats. City employee representatives have sought to meet with Mayor Fenty in an effort to resolve the issues crippling the system; however, he has continued to show disdain for the work of city employees and has repeatedly ignored the input of frontline workers."

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