L.A. Workers Lay Out Strike Plans

Saturday, September 30th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union representing 47,000 Los Angeles County employees vowed to start shutting down government offices one by one beginning Monday after negotiations for a new contract broke down.

The walkout, which would come amid a 2-week-old strike by bus and rail operators that has shut down the nation's second-largest public transit system, will begin with animal control facilities and the county Registrar-Recorder's office.

``We are kind of starting slowly and we want to escalate,'' said Annelle Grajeda, general manager of the Service Employees International Union Local 660.

The union's declaration Friday came as the transit strike was in its 14th day, with talks having broken off earlier in the week.

On Thursday, members of the union representing 43,000 Los Angeles Unified School District teachers also voted to authorize a strike if talks with the Board of Education are unsuccessful. The union didn't set a date for a walkout.

The SEIU said Monday's action would be the first of several one-day ``rolling'' walkouts designed to get the union's point across without crippling county services. Jails, libraries and the district attorney's office would be targeted on Wednesday. Hospitals would be hit on Thursday.

If negotiations for a new contract are still unresolved by Oct. 11, however, the union has said it would call a countywide strike. The current contract expires at midnight Saturday.

The union has rejected the county's offer of a 9 percent wage hike over three years, saying it wants at least 15.5 percent.

``I am disappointed that the union has chosen to leave the bargaining table,'' said county Chief Administrative Officer David Janssen.