Thousands of workers are on the verge of a strike, but supervisors say they're ready. The fight between Fresno county supervisors and employees rages on.
An injunction was denied last night for Fresno county employees seeking to stop a 9% pay cut.
It was the last straw for workers, and now a strike is being planned.
County employees were hoping the Public Employee Relations Board would force the county back into negotiations over that 9% pay cut.
That request was denied, and now a strike is imminent.
Over 4,000 Fresno county employees have been readjusting their personal budgets at home because of the 9% pay cut imposed by supervisors.
They were hoping for a little help from the state labor board. That fell through.
Now, SEIU Local 521 is on its last option: A strike.
Phil Larson, District 1 Supervisor: "Hey, with the situation being what it is, I'd love to do everything they want. But economically it's impossible, and it's not going to work."
Local 521 has already voted on, and authorized, a strike. Fresno county supervisors say if it happens, they're ready.
Supervisor larson says administrative personel could fill the voids left by employees that walk out.
Larson: "We're 15.8% unemployed in the city of Fresno. We're between 35 and 40% unemployed on the west side. There's plenty of people that will take these jobs."
Larson doesn't believe everyone will strike. He says neither a work stoppage, nor an ongoing unfair labor practices suit against the county, will keep it from running.
Two months ago, Fresno county nurses made their voices heard outside supervisors' offices downtown. Now, with SEIU on the verge of a strike, nurses say the desire is there to stand with Local 521, but have made no official decision.
SEIU would still like the county to renegotiate, but reps have said the county won't even go back to the table. Supervisor larson says that's just not true.
Larson: "We are waiting for them to lay some type of process on the table. They're the ones that haven't come to the negotiating table."
Local 521 reps are not commenting on the state labor board's injunction denial.
As far as any chance that employees will lose their jobs? According to the union, it's illegal for an employer to fire anyone for for participating in a concerted action like a strike.
Supervisors say matters could get worse. They're expecting another $1 billion in cuts on the state level. That could mean more cuts and layoffs on the county level.