I just got off the phone with Joan Raymond, president of City Hall’s blue collar workers union, Local 127.
Raymond confirmed that certain city workers could be lining up for a strike.
Raymond said the union, which is currently in contract talks with the Mayor’s Office, has taken a vote to give its negotiating committee the right to ask for a strike. It has also asked the San Diego-Imperial Counties Labor Council to give its support to a strike, should one be necessary.
“We’re not on strike, but we’re setting the stage,” Raymond said. “There’s certain permission we need to get.”
Raymond said the workers who might strike would be sanitation drivers, water department crews and mechanics at the Fire-Rescue Department. She said any strike would be the first strike since 1969.
And Raymond told me why the specter of a strike has risen:
“People have become very demoralized in the last few years and it’s recently come to a head. They’ve become so upset and so angry that they’ve started to talk about striking.”
Fred Sainz, spokesman for Mayor Jerry Sanders, said the mayor is urging the city’s blue collar workers that striking is not in their best interests or in the best interests of the city, but he said if the workers choose to strike, that’s their prerogative, Sainz said.
“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” he said.