Firefighters who battled a 24,000-acre blaze last week accused their supervisors Thursday of forcing them to participate in a news conference with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been at political odds with unions representing firefighters and other public employees.According the the LA Times story, when asked about it,
Schwarzenegger's appearance at a command center in Thousand Oaks came as he pushes ballot initiatives opposed by firefighter unions, including Proposition 75, which would require unions to get members' permission before dues could be used for political purposes.
At the event Sept. 30, the governor shook hands and posed for pictures with a crowd of firefighters and other emergency workers.
Firefighters were 'ordered and forced' to participate, Los Angeles County firefighter Greg Alldredge said Thursday at a news conference. 'We were very displeased with this - having to shake hands with somebody who really doesn't support us.'
Ventura County Fire Capt. Jack Nosco said he was among the firefighters ordered to flank Schwarzenegger at the event, in which the Republican governor lavishly praised several departments that extinguished the blaze along the edge of Los Angeles.
'We declined to do it voluntarily,' Nosco said.
Schwarzenegger said everybody is ordered to do things at one point or another.