Reprinted from The Daily Californian by Madeline Gregory on June 10, 2018.
On Wednesday, 99 percent of Berkeley city workers voted to authorize a strike if the city does not meet their demands for improved safety and increased salary.
Contract negotiations have been going on between Service Employees International Union Local 1021, or SEIU Local 1021, and the city of Berkeley for months, and are set to end June 16. The union plans to strike if it does not reach a favorable agreement, according to Rebecca Webb, a customer service representative working in the 311 call center and a member of SEIU Local 1021.
“We’re looking for a contract that meets the needs of living in the Bay Area and looking at the health and safety of employees,” Webb said.
City workers alleged that Berkeley managers have intimidated workers, engaged in unlawful surveillance and interfered with the right to protest, according to a press release from SEIU Local 1021. Webb added that workers had to vote for this authorization during their lunch break and that many felt pressure from management not to vote. …