Riverside, CA — SEIU 721 represented Riverside County employees aren’t holding back from moving the County to end their unfair practices, and our momentum is not up letting up anytime soon. As if thousands of striking Riverside County employees descending on the RUHS flagship hospital wasn’t enough to let the County know we’re serious — thousands more marched from the Riverside Convention Center to fill the County Administration Center on Day 2 of the strike.
The raucous one-mile march to the County Administration Building through the heart of Downtown Riverside stirred up a scene with chanting and clapping echoing for blocks and blocks, prompting onlookers to snap pics and honk in support. As the march snaked though the Civic Center, marchers cheered wildly as supersized banners with messages of support for their bold action dropped from both Riverside City Hall and at a Riverside County Parking structure.
“Stop being crooks, open up the books” was the chant of choice during the one-mile trek, an allusion to the multiple unfair labor practice charges filed against the County for its refusal to provide information critical to our ability to bargain effectively, including ignoring our multiple information requests on their financial dealings with Wells Fargo and European consulting giant KPMG.
The chants only grew stronger as the march approached the County Administration Center for a short rally, before hundreds made their way inside the building, prompting the City Fire Marshall to cut off access inside. Multiple strikers successfully made their way to the top floors of the building, where they unveiled multiple banners condemning the County’s revenue waste.
The takeover of the County building marked the 3rd time in two days that a California gubernatorial candidate paid a visit in support of striking Riverside County workers, as State Treasurer John Chiang joined the strikers with a message of support.
“We will win this!” declared John Chiang to the animated crowd filling the County’s atrium to capacity. We will win this indeed. If there was ever an indication that County employees are determined to defeat the County’s campaign of unfair labor practices—the thousands who marched through Riverside leave no doubt. We have the momentum, and we aren’t letting up anytime soon.
Stay tuned for the critical next steps.