Gold Cross union members petition to do away with union

Imperial Valley

Gold Cross union members petition to do away with union

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EL CENTRO, CA (13 On Your Side) - Gold Cross paramedics and EMTs who did not cross the picket line to go on strike are now trying to form their own union.

The non-striking employees tell 13 On Your Side, Teamsters Local 542 - that currently represent the 60 paramedics on strike - no longer represents their best interest.

36 paramedics and emergency medical technicians filed a petition with the National Labor Relation Board - to fire the union.  

Jacque Ackinson is one of 36 Gold Cross employees who did not cross the picket line - even though she is a union member.

She and all others who stayed working say they would be better off representing themselves. 

"What most of us want through this petition is just a fresh start. We have really good communication with John – the manager, and Jimmy and the other owners of the company."

Ackinson says the move to fire the union goes beyond eliminating the middle man - it would also do away with harassment and threats from the union.

She claims the union encourages name calling and lacks professionalism.  

"There's no way any of us would feel comfortable going to the union to file agreements. We'd be more scared for our lives going to the union than coming to work."

Meanwhile, paramedics on strike say eliminating the union would be a bad move for all employees.  

"The decertification really isn't a good idea it's going to leave every individual employee on their own, there wont be anything in writing for them," says John Bisi, "If they want to improve their work conditions or wages, they wont have anywhere to bargain."

The National Labor Relations Board will bring both sides together to hear their case and determine whether or not to decertify the union.

No word yet when this process will take place. Meanwhile, negotiations between Gold Cross and the union are at a standstill and the strike continues.  

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