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Striking Detroit water workers face firing

Wednesday, 3 Oct 2012 | 10:30 AM ET

DETROIT -- Thirty-four Detroit Water and Sewerage workers who went on strike over pay cuts and the city's plan to downsize the department over several years have been suspended without pay and face firing.

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says in a release Tuesday that the employees were notified Monday by certified letter of "their immediate suspension." They're expected to be terminated effective Oct. 10.

The workers walked off the job Sunday at the city's Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Director Sue F. McCormick writes in the letters that the workers "engaged in gross misconduct that endangered public health and safety."

It's illegal in Michigan for municipal workers to strike.

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 207 President John Riehl says the union's attorneys are reviewing the letters.