Carson : Pay Talks Lag; Picket Line Forms at City Hall

Carson employees took part in off-duty, informational picketing at City Hall this week over unsuccessful labor negotiations for a new contract.

"It is an avenue of expressing our discontent with the way the contract negotiations are going," said Louis Lusero, spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 809, which represents about 120 Carson clerical, middle-management and trade employees.

Union members are protesting city attempts to reduce health benefits for retirees and to hold down wage increases to 2.5% for a one-year contract, among other things, Lusero said.

Lee Paterson, the city's counsel on the matter, said the package that the employees are seeking amounts to a combined wage and benefit increase of 20%, which he said is five times higher than comparable union contracts in Southern California.

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