Press Release: June 21, 2011
Contact: Khanh Weinberg – (408) 678-3364
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Nearly 3,000 Santa Clara County workers took part in a vote Monday and delivered a clear and strong message to county leaders: They will not accept anything less than a fair contract.
The daylong vote took place at a half-a-dozen work places from Gilroy to the County Government Center where supervisors meet. An overwhelming majority – 97 percent – voted to reject the county’s proposal and directed the union negotiating team to continue contract talks with the county. Members also directed SEIU Local 521 to seek a strike sanction from the Central Labor Council.
Claudia Eck, county Eligibility Worker and Negotiating Team member, said: “With nearly 3,000 workers taking the time to vote, it clearly shows our membership is united and engaged. And the fact that the overwhelming majority voted to reject the county’s proposal, as negotiators we now have a very clear mandate to fight back against management’s draconian cuts that would leave working families even more vulnerable in this economy.”
The county’s proposal calls for $49 million in concessions from SEIU 521 workers, with another $13 million in takeaways. Workers have countered with millions of dollars of budget solutions that the county continues to consider.
Eck called on the membership to continue its efforts at highlighting the valuable services county workers provide the community. “We care about what we do and we want the county to show its respect for us and for our work,” Eck said.
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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