California's Largest Government Employee Union Could Strike Soon
The Service Employees International Union is authorized to go on strike in two weeks. A strike would close the Department of Motor Vehicles and Labor Department offices around California.
The SEIU represents more than 90,000 state workers who hold positions in a number of state government departments. Union members voted overwhelmingly to walk off the job Dec. 5 if there's no progress toward a new contract.
"We don't want to go on strike, but it's our duty and our responsibility to hold the state accountable for the unlawful activity at the bargaining table," said Tamika Robinson, a vice president of the SEIU Local 1000.
The state is offering yearly 3 percent raises and asking for more money for worker's retirement plans. State officials said they will continue to negotiate.
"We'll continue to bargain in good faith during this process until we reach an agreement," said Joe Andra, spokesman for the California Department of Human Resources.
The union also voted to strike in 2009, but they did not walk off the job. The two sides have been discussing a new contract since April. Negotiators are meeting again on Tuesday.