City of Hanford workers choose SEIU Local 521 in landslide

81% vote for SEIU, excited to move forward

March 2, 2011 – For City of Hanford workers, there never was a question to which organization should be their exclusive bargaining representative.

A secret mail-in ballot election that spanned half of February culminated in a landslide victory on March 1st, with 81% of City workers choosing SEIU Local 521.

“It was clear from the beginning that we wanted to stay with SEIU Local 521. A lot of us sent in our ballots because this affects our future, and we want to have the best representation when it’s time to negotiate a contract,” said Ernest DeSoto, a plant operator for the Public Works Water Treatment facility.

The most recent MOU with the City expired on December 31, 2010, meaning employees have been working without a contract for about two months. The January 2011 filing for a union election by former SEIU consultant and California League of City Employee Associations founder Bill Shawhan has delayed potential contract talks.

“We’re glad we can put this election behind us and move forward. In these tough times, it’s important that we are unified in a well-established organization like SEIU,” added DeSoto.

SEIU Local 521 represents 126 City of Hanford workers, from engineers to custodians to parks and street maintenance.

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