HOUSTON - Fire Union President Marty Lancton claims there's a "Scrooge" at City Hall whose bound and determined to ruin his Christmas.
Exhibit A - Lancton's personal City of Houston pay stubs for December which indicates total wages delivered of $2.88.
Against the backdrop of two, major, pending lawsuits with the City of Houston, with hundreds of millions of dollars past and future firefighter pay in the balance, Lancton is calling the wage denial "blatant retaliation".
"Unfortunately, Scrooge is the nicest term. It's unconscionable, in my opinion. You mess with people's families for political retribution, in order to silence people for what is right. It's disgusting," said Lancton.
Here's a little history, according to an ongoing "memo of understanding" consistently honored in the past by the City, the Fire Union President is assigned to "special administrative duty" as the sole liaison between 4,000 firefighters and the City of Houston.
Sources tell FOX 26 and Lancton confirms he was recently asked by Fire Department Senior Staff to leave his post and report for duty at the Fire Academy and he declined.
Lancton says he has never received a direct order from Chief Sam Pena and believes the docking of his pay amounts to illegal wage withholding and intimidation.
"This Fire Chief unilaterally and this Mayor have taken every union-busting chapter in the playbook and applied it," said Lancton.
FOX 26 reached out to Chief Sam Pena who responded "There is no collective bargaining agreement which might address the union President assignment".
In reaction to the withholding of Lancton's wages, Ginny McDavid, president of the Harris County AFL-CIO Labor assembly called the action "a departure from decades of past practice, a slap in the face to the hard-working union leaders servicing 4,000 HPFFA members, and clearly a union-busting tactic meant to demoralize a workforce already frustrated with the City of Houston’s litigation and actions".
Former City Councilman and Mayoral Candidate Dwight Boykins called the political hard-ball, disheartening, especially during the middle of national health crisis.
"It's the Holiday season. There is Covid out there. Businesses are shutting down - no one, no one should be losing their wages right now," said Boykins.
Lancton said he has not burdened his members with the pay issue before going public.
FOX 26 contacted multiple members of City Council most of whom were unaware of the Lancton pay issue and expressed alarm.