(BUFFALO, N.Y.) – A majority of the emergency medical technicians and paramedics working for Rural/Metro medical services voted to reject the company’s final contract offer on July 3. Today, Teamsters Local 375, in Buffalo, delivered the required 10-day notice of their intent to strike the private company, if progress isn’t made to fix a system where first responders are paid below the city living wage and the company’s new Wall Street owners seek to roll back family health care coverage for the 400 first responders.
“Our members work hard as first responders to accidents and critical situations in the Buffalo area,” said Kevin C. Drysdale, Teamsters Local 375 president. “We are dedicated members of the community, but unfortunately the firm that owns Rural/Metro, the private equity fund Warburg Pincus, doesn’t see it that way. By striking, our members seek to draw attention to an emergency medical system that is being bled to death by Wall Street investors.”
“Warburg Pincus is callously turning away from the needs of the community and the dedicated workers who are committed to using their life-saving skills,” Drysdale said. “We will continue to be ready and willing to meet with Rural/Metro management so that we can come to a mutually acceptable solution that focuses on supporting these local heroes who work to save lives but are denied a livelihood that can support their families. ”