Leaders of 'Blue Flu' protest unknown in Memphis

By: AP
By: AP

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis officials say no one has stepped forward as a leader of city police officers and firefighters who have called in sick to protest changes to their health insurance benefits.

The Commercial Appeal reports that anonymity is making it difficult for the city to apply potential strategies to end the "Blue Flu" action, such as seeking an injunction or punishing the strikers.

City Chief Administrative Officer George Little says talking with the protesters is hard because there are no spokesmen for the absent workers.

Little says he doesn't know who's organizing the mass sickout. He says he asked police and fire union leaders to urge their members to return to work.

Changes to the health insurance benefits are aimed at helping shore up the city's troubled pension program.

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