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Atlanta City Council OKs Street Renaming, Job Security Ordinance, Annexation

Atlanta City Council has decided to rename Freedom Parkway after Atlanta civil rights icon John Lewis. Also Monday, the council agreed to annex Emory University into the Atlanta city limits, and it adopted a measure to increase job security for airport contract workers.
Credit Charles Dharapak / Associated Press file
Audio version of this story here.

In its final meeting of the year, Atlanta’s City Council has agreed Monday to annex Emory University into the city limits by a vote of 13-0.

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The more than 700-acre annexation includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and surrounding areas. It’s set to take effect Jan. 1.

The council also overwhelmingly adopted a measure that will increase job security for airport contract workers.

The workers retention ordinance requires new vendors to keep employees for 90 days who’d worked for the former contractor doing a similar job.

This applies to contract workers at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport who work in the food, beverage and retail industries. However, they must have six months on the job and other basic qualifications.

Ian Mikusko, with Unite Here, a labor union in Atlanta, said this was an improvement in job security for service contract workers.

“We see this as just one step, but one really significant step, in creating an airport that provides good and eventually middle-class jobs to local residents,” Mikusko said.

The next step is a signature from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Mikusko said he expects Reed to sign it.

There are more than 4,000 food, beverage and retail workers at Atlanta’s airport.

The council also decided to rename Freedom Parkway after Atlanta civil rights icon John Lewis.

It will be called John Lewis Freedom Parkway.

Discussion on a controversial pension plan measure was delayed.

The proposed ordinance would create one board to monitor the pension funds of police, firefighters and city employees.