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Striking Santa Clara Workers Allege Unfair Labor Practices

Posted on in Employment

CA employment lawyerBeing a part of a union offers workers added protection in terms of speaking out against job policies and employers that they feel are unfair or oppressive. This is the case in Santa Clara County, where hundreds of workers gathered to hit the picket lines. However, while going on strike is their right, our San Jose employment law attorney warns about the situations they may need to watch out for.

Workers Take to Picket Lines Over Wages and Other Issues

Santa Clara County workers hit the picket lines recently in what labor union officials claim could be a lengthy strike. Their actions are meant to expose unfair labor practices and what they claim are major problems within the local family services system. The workers, represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), are looking for what officials claim are unrealistic salary increases. This is just one of more than 15 issues cited they claim impact them and their ability to do their jobs properly. Other complaints include:

  • Overly heavy caseloads for social workers
  • Dangerous conditions at the Santa Clara County intake center for children removed from homes
  • The relocation of the San Jose Family Resource Center, which would unfairly impact low-income minorities

The union warns that as many as 700 workers spread across several sites could eventually participate in the strike. County executives put current estimates at roughly 200 people, which does not count those taking vacation time or sick days in order to participate. Striking workers have allowed certain other employees to cross picket lines and provide essential services. For the county’s part, they claim that despite concerns being cited, the biggest factor is the wage increases demanded by the union. The County has approved a three percent increase in pay to take place over the next five years. Workers claim this is canceled out by provisions requiring them to make additional contributions to retirement and health insurance benefits.

Rights of Striking Workers

The National Labor Relations Board advises that strikes are lawful when used to protest economic policies and unfair labor practices. However, when economic concerns are a central issue, workers cannot go on strike without first participating in ‘good faith’ negotiations. Other issues which could jeopardize the rights of striking workers or prevent them from resuming their prior positions include:

  • Going on strike when your contract has a clear clause prohibiting it
  • Striking to prevent the employer from doing business with another specific party
  • Strikes in which workers engage in misconduct, such as doing damage to property or threatening others
  • Strikes which physically block others from entering, forcing a company shut down

Contact Our San Jose Attorneys Today

At Jachimowicz Law Group we provide legal guidance you need to protect yourself during disputes with employers or others on the job. To discuss your situation, call 408-246-5500 or contact our skilled San Jose employment law attorneys online and request a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/10/02/union-700-santa-clara-county-workers-to-strike-today/

https://www.nlrb.gov/strikes

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