• Mayor threatens to remove firehouse beds over wage dispute

    NORTH PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A mayor in Rhode Island is threatening to remove the beds from his town's fire station because of an ongoing dispute over firefighter wages.

    North Providence Mayor Charlie Lombardi told WPRI-TV that it's "probably the top option at this point" and he's hoping to get their attention.

    Jay Petrillo, president of the local firefighters' union, says there's no reason "to be using nuclear options" like taking beds away.

    Lombardi says he's upset with the union's request for another 3% raise, citing previous annual wage increases of 3%.

    Petrillo says that though they've gotten raises, they made concessions to do so, including changing to a high-deductible health care plan.

    Petrillo says he wants to see how their issues can be resolved in arbitration.

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