Join Times staff writer Abby Sewell at 9 a.m. for a L.A. Now Live discussion about the recent vote by members of Los Angeles County's largest employee union to give their leaders authority to call a strike.
Members of the Service Employees International Union voted to give their leaders authority to call a strike after months of contentious talks about wages, employee healthcare and working conditions, Sewell reported.
"If we need to go there, we'll go there, but I'm hoping we'll be able to negotiate this at the table," said Blanca Gomez, a children's social worker who is on the union's bargaining team.
SEIU Local 721 spokesman Lowell Goodman said the measure was approved by 95% of the "tens of thousands" of members who cast ballots, but he declined to say how many of the local's 41,493 voting members had participated.
Sewell reported that the SEIU walked away from the bargaining table last month because union officials felt the county was not being responsive to their demands.