(Los Angeles, California) – UE Local 1018 (United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America), representing almost 200 members is engaging in a “warning strike” and will picket both entrances to the Lanterman Regional Center headquarters, 3303 Wilshire Boulevard, on Wednesday, March 20 from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm to protest management’s refusal to agree to a fair and just contract. UE members organized and were certified by the National Labor Relations Board in March 2018.
The Regional Center’s management has been resisting workers’ efforts to improve salaries, pensions, health insurance, and working conditions and has dragged out negotiations for months.
Lanterman Regional Center employees perform vital functions that enable people with developmental disabilities to live purposeful lives as active members in their communities. “Many of these individuals would continue to be invisible and forgotten in our communities without the services we provide,” said Marc Baca, a member of the union’s bargaining committee. He added, “We provide advocacy, coordination of programming, housing and resources for physical and behavioral services.” UE Local 1018 members visit clients in their homes and communities and actively assist them in acquiring necessary services to make them productive members of society
Despite our members’ expertise and dedication, “Lanterman has shown us little respect at the bargaining table,” reported another member of the bargaining committee, Margarita Villaseñor. Ms. Villaseñor claimed that management is assigning high caseloads which negatively affect the quality and quantity of service to our clients. In addition, she charged that while the Regional Center serves multi-ethnic communities with various language needs, it currently assigns no value to the multilingual abilities of the workforce.
“It’s time for Lanterman management to come back to the bargaining with good faith offers” Tiffany Adams, a member of the bargaining committee reported. “It’s extremely insulting to the great majority of our work force that management treats us as if a fair contract is a luxury. For many years, we had to put up with tough working conditions without pay increases, but after almost a decade of this neglect, we are speaking out.”