More than 1,200 welfare workers called in sick today in apparent protest of bogged-down negotiations between the county and Service Employees International Union, Local 660. A spokeswoman for the Department of Public Social Services said that 15 of the department’s 54 offices were hit by the job action, representing a 45% absenteeism.
Hardest hit were welfare offices in Long Beach and Norwalk, with 62% and 61% absenteeism respectively. The Social Services spokeswoman said the sickout, the third to hit the department in less than two weeks, did not significantly affect services. While numbers were not immediately available, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health Services also reported that a “higher than usual” number of registered nurses and clerical workers had called in sick today.