Riverside, CA – After more than a year of contract talks, Riverside County declared an impasse Aug. 30 in negotiations with Service Employees International Union Local 721 and Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 777. The declaration came the day after Local 721, which represents more than 7,000 county workers, most in health and social services, voted to go on strike Sept. 6. The impasse could enable the county to impose its “last, best, and final” contract offer’s terms on the two unions, whose contracts expired last year. “Riverside County’s premature declaration of impasse certifies that they’ve never had a sincere interest in negotiating in good faith with their frontline workers,” SEIU Local 721 President Bob Schoonover told the Riverside Press-Enterprise, noting the union has filed 19 unfair-labor-practices complaints. LIUNA Local 777 Business Manager Stephen Switzer, who on Aug. 29 called SEIU’s strike decision “premature,” told members that the impasse “demonstrates the contempt with which we are regarded by the county.” He said the union would demand that the county goes through the fact-finding process required before it can impose its terms, and that would reveal information “which will prove to be quite embarrassing.” Read more


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