|Hundreds of IAM Local 1930 members who work for the city of Long Beach, CA turned out to rally for a fair contract on Tuesday, March 24.|
Hundreds of Long Beach, CA city employees, members of IAM Local 1930, flocked to City Hall on Tuesday to protest the lack of progress in current contract negotiations.
|IAM Grand Lodge Representative Richard Suarez, chief spokesman for negotiations with the city of Long Beach, CA, addresses hundreds of IAM Local 1930 members rallying for a fair contract.|
The IAM and the city have been locked in negotiations since October of last year with very little progress being made. The protest was sparked by the city’s latest economic proposal that contained no wage increases for the next three years. Instead, the city is offering a one-time lump sum payment that would equate to roughly $250 for most employees. The city is claiming a budget shortfall in spite of IAM members recently agreeing to pension reform that is projected to save the city of Long Beach $125 million over the next 10 years.
“This city can afford $30,000-a-year merit increases for some of its management staff, but there’s no money for you,” said IAM Grand Lodge Representative Richard Suarez, the union’s chief spokesman in the negotiations. “They can pay consultants with $100,000 price tags, but there’s no money for you.”
“This city will not balance its books on the backs of our members,” said IAM Western Territory General Vice President Gary Allen. “From the top floor of City Hall to the Refuse Operators who risk their health to keep these streets clean; our members build this community. It’s time the city of Long Beach recognizes the hard work and dedication of these proud public servants.”
The IAM represents 3,500 Long Beach City Employees, which makes up 60 percent of the workforce employed by the City.