The United Steelworkers union is fighting a decision by Niagara Falls administrators to fire a city worker who holds the top position in the city union.

The labor organization filed a grievance Tuesday to oppose a notice of discipline filed against Jim Anthony that recommended firing him for doing unauthorized union work on the job, said the city’s Assistant Corporation Counsel Chris Mazur.

Anthony, a city employee, is president of the United Steelworkers Amalgamated Local No. 9434. The union — which represents about 340 city workers — has three separate units that each negotiate separate contracts.

Mazur, who declined to discuss specifics of the incident, said the disciplinary action against Anthony was related to the suspension last week of the city forester, Joe Urso.

Administrators also recently demoted the city’s streets manager to a non-supervisory position. Mazur said that personnel action was unrelated to the discipline of Anthony or Urso.

Tom Vitello, the president of one of three units within the United Steelworkers union, declined to discuss the incident because he did not want “to jeopardize the grievance process.”

Negotiations between all of the city’s unions and Mayor Vince Anello’s administration have extended for more than two years over contracts that expired in 2004. Anello recently told the City Council that the talks were “not going well.”

Anello referred calls about the disciplinary action to Mazur.

Mazur said the final decision about what action would be taken against Anthony would likely be determined by an outside arbitrator. He expects the city to hold a disciplinary hearing next.

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