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Detroit Water Department management is firing back at striking employees, calling their actions illegal and threatening suspension and termination for workers who walked off the job.

In a statement released Sunday evening spokesperson Mary Alfonso said officials are hoping that a judge ends the strike quickly.

“The City of Detroit Water Department filed a motion on Friday seeking an injunction to prevent any type of employee work stoppage. We hope a hearing will take place (Monday) to avoid any further illegal work stoppage,” Alfonso said.

Local 207 President John Riehl, who represents the workers on strike, says more than 900 staffers have agreed to the stoppage.

Riehl says his members authorized a strike to protest Mayor Dave Bing’s plan to downsize the department, which includes layoffs of most of the department’s 2,000 workers. The plan also calls for outsourcing many of the positions to a private contractor.

Like most other city workers DPW staffers are also facing a 10-percent pay cut.

Detroit’s water and sewage system serves approximately 4-million people in southeast Michigan.

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