The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135 strongly opposes the City of San Diego’s staff recommendation to award its new Emergency Medical Services (EMS) contract to Falck, a provider that has a history of unfairly treating their workforce. Last year in Alameda County, NAGE Local 510 picketed for higher wages following months of negotiations. The Alameda County EMTs and paramedics were earning substantially lower wages than providers in neighboring counties, despite similar costs of living. During the pandemic, the EMS providers dealt with near constant payroll issues, healthcare benefit lockups and poor handling of the employees covering special pandemic assignments.Falck required first responders to attend “union busting” meetings that served no public health purpose, while the NLRB received several unfair labor practice charges against Falck including for coercive rules and concerted activities. Awarding this contract would directly impact many of our members and we should not be rewarding companies that put profits above their employees, and who have a history of not supporting and treating their workers fairly in public contracts. It would set a terrible precedent for other City contracts.
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