Support for strikers grow, families join picket line

Imperial Valley

Support for strikers grow, families join picket line

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EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Despite the heat, 60 paramedics and EMTs in Imperial County continue to walk the picket line 24/7 - trying to fight for a pay raise and better health benefits.

The paramedics union and Gold Cross Ambulance are miles apart and so far, refuse to meet at the bargaining table.

The strike has gotten so personal, paramedic's wives are also walking the picket line to support their husbands and to let their voices be heard in the community.

"It's rough. I mean, emotionally, financially. We've been out here everyday."

Ashleigh Creiglow who's husband, David, has been a paramedic with Gold Cross for five years says - while she's not a paramedic, she too is on strike because it's impacting her and their two children - directly.  

"I'm the only one working I work part-time I have the kids with me when I work."

According to documents given to us by Gold Cross Ambulance, the Counter Proposal between the union and the company shows all employees with one year or more of service would be paid $13.75 an hour - if the deal were to be ratified.  

For David who's been a paramedic for five years..."Just under 10 dollars is my hourly rate."

 A new contract could mean a $4 pay raise. But he says this labor fight is even bigger than that.

"Just the status of our equipment, the way things are run here. It's become a very hostile work environment."

Meanwhile, Ashleigh says she will continue to support her husband and says people should care because this is their community.  

"This is what my husband loves to do. This is his passion – is to be a paramedic and he's thought about other avenues but this is where his heart is."

"I'm from the Valley. This is my community. My family lives here, I live here, I went to school here," says David.

We tried to get answers from Gold Cross to find out if they plan to meet with the paramedics union to seek a resolution to end this strike.  

Paramedics and other workers who did not cross the picket line did not talk on camera.

However, they say the owner is out of town and unavailable for comment.  

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