Labor unites to support Kern County workers


CONTACT: James Geluso
(661) 321-4163 |

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Central Labor Council votes unanimously for strike sanctions

The Kern-Inyo-Mono Central Labor Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve strike sanctions against Kern County, which has refused to negotiate with its workers for a new contract.

The move means that members of other Kern County unions can honor a picket line or take other action against Kern County, with the same legal rights as someone striking.

The council includes 25 unions, representing a total of 34,000 union members and their families.

“We’ve voted to stand behind 521 and the egregious and illegal stand by the Board of Supervisors,” said Donny Williams, president of the Central Labor Council.

“Union members understand that honorable employers negotiate with their employees, not just make demands,” Williams continued. “We think people ought to honor their promises and obligations.”

The contract for 5,700 Kern County workers expired on June 30, 2010. Kern County Supervisors have refused to negotiate, instead making one-sided demands for concessions that would cut take-home pay by up to 27 percent for the lowest-paid employees. SEIU 521 members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike, which will be called by the bargaining team.


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

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