Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Ecorse functioned as an employment ‘safety valve’ of Great Lakes Steel Division. When the steel industry was in recession, Great Lakes Steel Division employees often hired by Ecorse. At times, the Ecorse employment rolls ranged from 150 to 250 employees. Substantially a11 of the Ecorse employees were included within one of the following unions at the inception of the receivership:

Description    

Approximate
Number of Employees

Labor contracts:

 

Police and Fire Administrators

6

Police Command Officers

15

Police Patrolmen

17

Firefighters

23

Clerical and Public Service – Note A

33

Crossing Guards

 7 

 

101

Approximate number of non-represented employees

40

 

 

Total

141

Note A: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

As described subsequently, Ecorse's failure to fund the Police and Fire Pension Plan in accordance with its labor agreement fostered a hostile relationship between these union groups and Ecorse management. Because of management's often unfulfilled promises, union personnel lacked confidence in management's plans to correct the fiscal distress. This distrust often resulted in litigation and arbitration to resolve labor issues. This poor labor relationship carried over into the receivership.