Santa Clara County workers' strike postponed amid power shutoff | News | Palo Alto Online |


Santa Clara County workers' strike postponed amid power shutoff

Employees have been hitting the picket lines since Oct. 2

In order for all area residents to have important local information on the coronavirus health emergency, Palo Alto Online has lifted its pay meter and is providing unlimited access to its website. We need your support to continue our important work. Please join your neighbors and become a subscribing member today.

Santa Clara County workers who have been striking since last week are postponing the work stoppage until further notice because of PG&E's Public Safety Power Shutoff affecting the area.

County employees with Service Employees International Union Local 521 had been striking since Oct. 2 but are back to work Thursday amid the shutoff affecting much of the Bay Area and beyond.

"Our decision to postpone all strike activities was taken out of our concern for public safety and our desire to fully support the needs of the residents who our members serve every single day," SEIU Local 521 chapter president Janet Diaz said in a statement.

The union has accused the county of an unfair labor practice charge, saying the Department of Family and Children's Services was restructured without bargaining with employees.

"Our decision to postpone work stoppage activities does not cancel our unfair labor practices strike," Diaz said. "Our members will remain ready to return to the picket lines at moment's notice."

Santa Clara County Executive Jeffrey Smith says the county remains open to negotiations as union workers postponed their strike Thursday morning due to PG&E's power shutoff.

"This emergency is a reminder of the vital role the county serves in our community," Smith said in a statement. "This suspension of strike activity today was in keeping with this mission of public service."

He added that the county "continues to be hopeful for a resolution that results in a fair, equitable and sustainable contract. We are ready to meet for the next round of negotiations as soon as SEIU leadership is ready and willing to meet with us."


Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay up to date on local coronavirus coverage with our daily news digest email.

'A devastating impact:' The coronavirus claims Clarke's Charcoal Broiler, Mountain View's oldest operating restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 4 comments | 3,074 views

The first few seconds after awakening; before I remember the virus
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,692 views

How COVID-19 Affects Communities
By Jessica Zang | 19 comments | 1,984 views

Can you stay healthy without making more trash?
By Sherry Listgarten | 2 comments | 1,963 views

Think about helping others in our coronavirus-affected area
By Diana Diamond | 4 comments | 1,876 views



The 34th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Short Story Contest is now accepting entries for Adult, Young Adult and Teen categories. Send us your short story (2,500 words or less) and entry form by April 10, 2020. First, Second and Third Place prizes awarded in each category. Sponsored by Kepler's Books, Linden Tree Books and Bell's Books.

Contest Details