Representatives of Los Angeles County's largest labor union presented the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday with thousands of signed postcards from employees protesting the lack of progress in contract talks.
"We have been bargaining for five months without avail . . . and a countywide strike is looming," said Sharon Grimpe, general manager of Local 660 of the Service Employees International Union, which represents about 40,000 county employees, including clerical workers, nurses and blue-collar workers.
Grimpe, who was accompanied to the board chambers by dozens of county employees, accused county officials of failing to negotiate in good faith and jeopardizing talks with 23 bargaining units whose contracts with the county expired Sept. 30.
Chief Administrative Officer Richard Dixon denied that county negotiators are stalling in the bargaining talks and told supervisors that the county is "actively negotiating" with the unions. Nearly half the county bargaining units, representing about 20,000 to 25,000 employees, have reached a settlement with the county, he said.