Joined at the Hip
Within days of one another Fairfax fire chief Richard Bowers and Local 2068 president John Niemiec wrote emails to their prospective constituents, many of whom overlap as members of the department and the union.
Their messages were strikingly similar both in what they say and what they do not.
Bowers employs the phrase “we must remain united” twice while Niemiec raps “We must unite” and signs off in “solidarity.”
It’s a coordinated strategy, of course, and the objective is to move on.
Niemiec starts off with a mini-eulogy before becoming a scold under a section entitled, “ONE UNION… ONE VOICE…”
This is where he trots out the call to unite which actually is nothing more than his attempt to stifle dissent and dialogue.
Very importantly, Niemiec equates those who raise questions with the Fairfax Underground posters when he writes, “stop the blame and finger-pointing and stop attacking one another like the cowards who attacked Nicole on that filthy blog.”
In Niemiec’s (and Bowers) world, if you want real answers about workplace sexualization and the specific acts that led to the current culture, you are a coward.
It’s Alice and Wonderland thinking.
Niemiec again, “Your Department and Union are taking a lot of negative publicity not only from the citizens but, our own members as well.”
Most folks know that John Niemiec is totally without substance and here he proves it by revealing that his real concern is publicity; what people think.
Publicity, negative or otherwise, be damned.
This is the time to search our souls, lay the cards on the table, let truth prevail.
Twice in his email to his members, he mentions the department and the union in the same sentence and the union is always second.
Niemiec should let the department worry about itself, he is speaking to his members.
It is just more proof that we have lost our identity and with it our ability to care for ourselves.
Bowers and Niemiec are morphing into a single entity designed to obfuscate and confuse.
Their bloviating emails aside, this is all pretty simple.
Bowers condoned and even promoted a leader-driven, predatory, sexualized workplace.
His actions are inexplicable when viewed from the vantage point of those trying to build a progressive and equitable department.
Now, faced with a tragedy which has laid bare his pandering leadership style he calls for us to, “stick to the facts, if something is not right then immediately say something,”
Chief Bowers, that is exactly what we are doing and we are waiting for you to join us.
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