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Vacaville's Local 39 workers strike following pay cut imposition

Dozens of city of Vacaville employees went on strike early Wednesday in protest of a pay cut imposed on them the night before by the city.

Members of Stationary Engineers - Local 39 walked picket lines at the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant, City Hall, the city Corporation Yard and the city Transit Center from the early morning hours till about 5 p.m.

Meanwhile, services like City Coach bus rides took a hit, running at one-hour instead of 30-minute intervals after Teamsters drivers opted to honor the union's picket line. Supervisors took over driving duties there and elsewhere during the strike, which union leaders said could last indefinitely.

Local 39 represents street maintenance, parks, and water and sewer plant workers.

At issue is a 21.5 percent cut, for which partial blame can be placed on stalled labor negotiations. Talks were held since February 2013 between the union and the city. When no agreement could be made, an impasse was declared and a fact-finding panel was brought in to review the dispute.

Union leaders say they offered various alternatives to the city's stance that $1.54 million had to be cut from their wages, but to no avail. As for the fact finder report, it found both sides lacking.

On Tuesday night, the 91-member Public Works/Utilities bargaining unit packed the City Council Chamber and 32 members spoke out about the potentially negative impacts to their families. Following the unanimous vote to impose the contract, the union opted to strike.

By Kimberly K. Fu / The Reporter
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