Mexican American Opportunity Foundation workers prepare to strike: May 13


May 11, 2016

Contact: Khanh Weinberg (408) 921-0098

Mexican American Opportunity Foundation workers prepare to strike

After eight years without cost-of-living adjustments, SEIU 521-represented workers at MAOF are forced to rely on public assistance in Monterey County

SALINAS – SEIU 521 members working at Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in Salinas are committed to the mission of the organization, which is to provide for the socio-economic betterment of the greater Latino community. However, after eight years of not receiving a COLA, workers can no longer to continue to work and serve the community while they themselves are consigned to living in poverty.

Despite federal mediation this week, in addition to letters of support for workers from local and state elected officials, a contract settlement has not been reached. MAOF workers will be going on strike Friday.

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.

WHAT: MAOF workers strike

WHEN: Friday May 13, from 6:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHERE: Salinas MAOF Child Care; 1210 John Street

A second-day strike is planned for Monday, May 16 at the MAOF Mountain Valley Child Care, 115 Bardin Road, Salinas.

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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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