Strike ends, contract extended at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation

May 23, 2015

Contact: Khanh Weinberg (408) 921-0098

Strike ends, contract extended at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation

After eight years without cost-of-living adjustments, SEIU 521-represented workers at MAOF have won a contract with reasonable gains

SALINAS – SEIU 521 members working at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in Salinas voted to approve a contract extension today and will be returning to work Tuesday after seven days on strike. Workers will be receiving a 3% wage increase.

“MAOF workers stood up for themselves, for our children, and for our community,” said Matt Nathanson, SEIU Local 521 Regional President who had joined a small delegation of member leaders on the first day of the strike to protest at an MAOF event near Los Angeles. “It has been a hard week for workers to go without pay and for the parents who did not have child care. But we are thankful for the tremendous support we’ve received from throughout Monterey County. We feel this is finally a fair contract that will help workers continue to serve the community.”

Some 100 early learning educators at the agency, which provides child care services throughout the county, went on strike May 13, calling for a fair contract that treats the workforce – which is overwhelmingly Latina and female – with dignity and respect.

Community leaders, including members of the county board of supervisors, council members from the Salinas and Watsonville cities, and board trustees of Hartnell College were strongly supportive of the strikers, joining workers on the picket line and for a march last Friday, the sixth day of the strike.

Members took to social media with a “Shame on MAOF” campaign and drew online support from outside California including as far away as Canada.

Other items agreed to in the tentative agreement between workers and management include: Parties will return to table to negotiate increases if the state budget increases funding for MAOF; using labor-management committee to resolve issues and grievances; extending contract to Oct. 31, 2016; and SEIU dropping unfair labor charges against the employer.

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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.

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