The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department has plans to fire 34 employees who left posts this week during their shifts at the Wastewater Treatment plant, the department said.
The employees were notified of suspensions in letters sent on Monday. They will be fired on Oct. 10.
The department says the employees "engaged in gross misconduct that endangered public health and safety by unlawfully abandoning their jobs at the plant."
They are ordered not to be on any DWSD properties and not to misrepresent themselves as employees within the department.
A few dozen workers went on strike Sunday in protest of plans by the city to lay off many of them and privatize some of the work. The workers belong to American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 207.
A judge ordered the employees back to work but the picketing persisted. Union leaders wanted the striking workers to comply with the judge's order and go back on the job.
However, AFSCME Local 207 released this statement Monday evening:
"Many rumors are circulating about the strike of the Detroit Water Workers of AFSCME Local 207. The leadership of Local 207 want to make clear that they have conferred with their members and that the strike continues. All members are urged to continue to come to the picket lines at the Waste Water Treatment Plant at 9300 W. Jefferson which will continue all night with a big push at 6am tomorrow morning."