Wednesday, January 25 marked the end of a three day strike to protest a 9% pay cut to Fresno County employees. Talks of renegotiating the pay cuts have halted, which has prompted the SEIU union to protest.
Angry county employees marched on the sidewalks of downtown, and in front of many county offices throughout Fresno, claiming unfair labor practices, among other problems they face from the county.
Many people have showed concern over how this strike will impact county services. Some services, like the public library, have already been affected, being forced to take volunteers in order to stay open. Some county services, like food stamp assistance could also be threatened – they have been understaffed for quite some time.
As a daughter of a county employee, I know that my mom is already bracing herself for the pay cut. This will affect the way she has to live, making cuts everywhere in her life. It will be much harder to come up with money for bills, transportation, food, or any other sudden expense.
But my mom’s story will not be uncommon if these cuts go through. There is even a chance that the cuts will go up to 14 percent. What about all of the families this will affect?
I’m worried that if the strike continues, the county may terminate my mother’s job. The county can hire more workers if they have so many people against them – I don’t want my mom to be their target. If county services are impacted, it would only be temporary. But if my mom and other people lost their jobs, they have to pick up the pieces and start all over with their lives, and many can’t afford to do that.