FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 16, 2015
Contact: Khanh Weinberg (408) 921-0098
Strike continues for Mexican American Opportunity Foundation workers
Tuesday will be 3rd day of strike for early learning educators in Salinas
SALINAS – With the vast majority of its workforce prepared to walk out on their job for a third straight day on Tuesday, management of Mexican American Opportunity Foundation has remained unmoved, even as local elected leaders continue calling on MAOF to provide dignity treatment and wages for its workers.
MAOF workers, most of whom are Latina and underpaid, had hoped that MAOF would do right and begin negotiating a contract that would lift workers out of poverty. However, a prolonged strike now seems necessary given that the MAOF administration is not returning the phone calls of some of the Monterey County parents who are in support of a fair contract for workers.
A third-day strike, starting at 5:30 a.m., is planned for Tuesday, May 17 at the MAOF Mountain Valley Child Care, 115 Bardin Road, Salinas.
SEIU 521 members working MAOF have not received a cost-of-living adjustment in eight years and can no longer to continue to work and serve the community while they themselves are consigned to living in poverty.
Despite federal mediation, in addition to letters of support for workers from local and state elected officials, a contract settlement has not been reached.
MAOF workers are being denied dignity and respect when 4 in 10 workers are forced to rely on public assistance. MAOF staff consists unanimously of women of color who are treated like second-class citizens.
An SEIU notice of the pending strike has been sent to MAOF clients, many of whom are farmworkers who rely on MAOF child care services in order to work. MAOF workers have no choice but to move to a strike given these unacceptable statistics:
- 100% of MAOF employees in Monterey live in poverty and make below the livable wage in Monterey County. The livable wage for two adults with no children is $24.64 an hour – every MAOF employees makes below $14.32 an hour.
- Approximately 20% of representative sample of MAOF workers are single mothers.
- 10% of MAOF staff in Monterey are the primary breadwinners in their family.
- Last year, the state provided a 4.5% COLA for childcare centers; meanwhile SEIU 521 members at MAOF did not see any wage increases.
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Service Employees International Union, Local 521 represents 40,000 public- and nonprofit, private-sector workers in the central Bay Area region and in the Central Valley. Under a Community First vision, we are committed to making sure the needs of our community, and the vital services we provide our community, come first. We believe our communities thrive when residents, leaders and workers recognize that we are all in this together when it comes to our safety, health, and well-being.