Fresno County workers light candles for economy

Press Release; For planning purposes only

Contact: Miesha Brown – (559) 447-2490

Workers call on politicians to rise above agenda, avoid $50M hit

Fresno County workers will hold a candlelight vigil tonight to raise awareness of the $50 million blow to our local economy that the Board of Supervisors wants to impose.

The workers will also light candles for the rights that Americans fought and died for, which the politicians now want to take away.

“The Board of Supervisors first turned down over $3 million from authorized tax money. Then they turn down $56 million that could have provided further health care to treat the poor and indigent of Fresno County. Then they turn around and demand to the employees that they should give up $50 million in their salaries,” said David Chavez, a community mental health specialist for Fresno County.

Three members of the Board of Supervisors are pushing a militant anti-worker agenda in contract negotiations. They would rather send money back to the state and federal governments than continue to pay their workers a fair wage.

Salary cuts for public service providers would reverberate through the economy. As county workers cut back on their spending, private employers would suffer a loss of income and would also have to cut back. The cut of $50 million is equivalent to the loss of 1,000 good jobs.

“I have two children in college and a child in secondary school. These cuts would impact them more than me. I would have to become a client of our social services programs. But my children won’t be able to pursue their dreams,” said Alysia Bonner, a supervising office assistant in the Public Health Department.

WHO: Fresno County public workers, members of SEIU 521

WHAT: A candlelight vigil for Fresno County’s economy

WHERE: Tulare and M streets, outside the Hall of Records

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19

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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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