Kern County workers vote to authorize strike

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: James Geluso
(661) 321-4163 | James.Geluso@seiu521.org

Saturday, January 22, 2011

SEIU 521 members hope Board of Supervisors will come to the table

BAKERSFIELD, CA – Kern County workers sent a clear mandate to their bargaining team, voting overwhelmingly to authorize a strike.

“The members demonstrated they are willing to take a financial hit to strike to bring the Board of Supervisors back to the bargaining table to negotiate with us to find workable solutions to the financial problems we now face,” said Regina Kane, president of the Kern County chapter of SEIU Local 521.

The supervisors last year decided what they wanted –- severe cuts in benefits that would dramatically reduce workers’ paychecks –- and refused to even discuss alternative ways of reaching the same goals. They also rejected all proposals from the union, even those that would have no impact on county finances or operations.

Kane said she hopes the vote will spur the Board of Supervisors to engage in real negotiations.

The exact time and duration of a strike will be determined by the bargaining team, which was elected last year by members.

SEIU 521 represents about 5,700 Kern County workers, from nurses to road workers to elections clerks.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

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