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State investigating complaint by laid-off Poquonnock Bridge firefighters

The State Board of Labor Relations has investigated the complaint filed by the Poquonnock Bridge Fire Fighters Association on behalf of nine firefighters laid off in July and is evaluating the merits of the case, Nancy Steffens, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Labor said Wednesday.

No hearing date has been scheduled and no time frame is available for a decision, she said.

The union filed a prohibitive practices complaint with the board after the layoffs and asked for interim relief while a decision was being made. The union also sought an injunction in New London Superior Court to rescind the layoffs, saying they threatened public safety.

A judge denied the injunction request last month.

In his ruling, Judge Thomas Moukawsher said that the union’s request for interim relief would likely be heard within 30 to 60 days, and that firefighters had not proven an emergency exists to allow the court jurisdiction. He also noted that the department still has four firefighters on almost every shift, the department leadership can call on mutual aid and rescues at structure fires are rare.

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