Today, our union announced the results of our LA County Unfair Labor Practice strike authorization vote. Members voted in favor of a ULP strike, with a resounding 98% voting YES.
We broke the news to the media, and SEIU 721 members, this morning at a press conference at our Wilshire office.
“Our Executive Board, the governing body of our union, also voted last night to sanction this ULP strike,” said SEIU 721 President David Green. “LA County had better take notice of this as we head into the next round of bargaining sessions – which begin bright and early Monday morning.”
The vote affects all 55,000 frontline employees at LA County working in healthcare, mental health, child welfare, social services, street services, public safety, parks and recreation, janitorial services and much more across a 4,753 square-mile service area.
“We are fired up,” said SEIU 721 Chief of Staff Gilda Valdez. “We will take action if management doesn’t come to the bargaining table in good faith. Many of our members are bilingual, they are women and they are people of color. When LA County leaders refuse to bargain in good faith, they’re showing they do not care about these workers and the communities they serve. Add to this that LA County is spending billions of dollars to contract out services that should still be done by union workers – it’s vulture-like behavior and we refuse to accept it.”
Our strike announcement arrives a few days before we resume contract negotiations with the county starting on Monday into Tuesday, and the LA County Board of Supervisors will meet on Wed., May 11 for their annual budget meeting.
Make no mistake, our resounding YES vote is sending a strong message to county negotiators and the Board of Supervisors.
“LA County’s behavior as of late has been a “slap in the face” to the frontline workers who put their lives and well-being on the line during the pandemic,” said Ileana Meza, our Chair of the Bargaining Policy Committee. “Overall, we’re fed up and we’re frustrated. It is unacceptable and disrespectful for LA County to pretend that they can’t work with us to honor the work we’ve done during the biggest public health crisis in decades. If LA County does not come to the table in good faith, we will act and we will strike!”
While a strike is potentially on the horizon for LA County workers, today’s authorization does not mean we are going on strike yet.
After contract negotiations on Monday and Tuesday, and the Board of Supervisors budget meeting on Wednesday, our elected Bargaining Policy Committee and the leadership of our union will make an evaluation of when to go on strike.
The situation is still very fluid, so please check your email inbox for breaking news and strike updates, and text SEIU to 721721 to receive mobile updates.
Together, we win!
(P.S. Please note that this ULP strike authorization announcement does not affect SEIU 721 members working for the LA Superior Court not does it pertain to members in BU 500 working for the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County.)