Firing another salvo in the heated battle between Boston officials and the city's firefighter union, Local 718 president Edward Kelly asked union members yesterday to boycott the annual Saint Patrick's Day parade, according to a copy of the notice obtained by the Globe.
The notice, signed by Kelly and recording secretary Ralph Dowling, said union officials decided to skip the parade this year "due to the ongoing attack by the Mayor and the other city official[s] against every member of this local."
Union leaders and Mayor Thomas M. Menino have been at odds over contract provisions requiring mandatory drug and alcohol testing for firefighters.
In the notice, union officials said they are asking members of fire departments from other cities - who typically visit Boston to march in the parade and convene with fellow firefighters - to also boycott it this year.
"We feel and know that the city will use any incident and spin it in a negative way to discredit the good men and women of this local," the notice said.
Menino's spokeswoman, Dorothy Joyce, noted that the parade is not sponsored by the city and that the mayor has not marched in it for several years.
It is sponsored by the Allied War Veterans of South Boston, and Menino stopped marching in the parade after organizers excluded gay groups from marching.
"It's not the mayor's parade," she said. "If they have issues with the mayor, they should take that up with the mayor."