East Bay Park workers threaten strike on July 4th

June 27, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A July 4th tradition for folks in the East Bay could be very different this year. East Bay Regional Park workers are threatening to strike on Independence Day and the day after.

If the workers strike, they plan to picket at the Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area in Fremont. So visitors would have to drive past them. Park goers would then spend the day with fewer employees taking care of the place.

East Bay Regional Parks are usually packed this time of year, especially on the Fourth of July. That's exactly why union park district workers are threating to strike on the holiday and the day after if their demands aren't met.

"We don't want to disrupt people's holiday, but we have to take care of ourselves," said Sharon Corkin, a maintenance supervisor.

Rangers, lifeguards, restroom and garbage attendants promise to walk off the job unless the district gives them an annual cost of living increase for the next four years.

"Management is dismayed that the park district is looking at a looming strike from our employee union after having negotiated, through mediation, and 8.5 percent raise," said Carol Johnson from the East Bay Regional District.

The district is already warning park goers of the possible shake up on its website. They are not sure if all services will be running at 100 percent. The strike possibility is being met with mixed reactions from visitors.

"It'd be sad that there's no lifeguards here, but I mean, I'll still come if there's a lifeguard or not," said Fremont resident Mark Youngberg.

"A lot of kids are going to be here to swim. We really need some lifeguards," said Fremont resident Dan Chen.

"I wouldn't want to come to a place that's not kept up clean like it is right now," said Newark resident Luis Gomez.

The district and the union will meet for a final mediation Monday.


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