Gold Cross arrest raises harassment concerns

Imperial Valley

Gold Cross arrest raises harassment concerns

Posted: Updated:

EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - Tension on the Gold Cross strike line in Imperial Valley is growing as days go on.

The paramedic's union president was arrested for attacking Gold Cross' manager.

According to police logs, the Teamsters Local 542 president, Phil Farias, was arrested on battery charges.

Police say Farias - who represents at least 50 paramedics and EMTs on strike - stepped and pushed Gold Cross manager, John Goodall, after a verbal disagreement Sunday.

Farias was taken into custody. He was later released on a $750 bond.

13 On Your Side wanted to know about the growing tension between the company and the strikers.

Dispatcher Erika Coronado-Tarin tells us this aggressive behavior by the union is nothing new.

She says, before the strike occurred, she had several questions about what could happen if she decided to walk off the job.

Those questions, she says, went unanswered.

"I basically was bullied and told that every day of my life was going to be made miserable if I decided to cross the line."

Coronado-Tarin says, what concerns her now is how far the threats will go, since the confrontation between the manager and union president led to an arrest.

"It's really kind of stressful. I know they know where I live. The union has addresses to everybody's houses. They can come by any moment and do whatever they want to my house."

Jacque Ackinson, Lead Dispatcher, says the type of behavior that happened on Sunday is a reason why she started a petition to stop the union from representing Gold Cross employees.

"It's a perfect example of the unprofessionalism that the union is showing. Not only as objective union members but to the community."

She too is concerned and hopes the attacks will not continue.

"There's been multiple police reports made and multiple incidents leading up to this one and they've just gotten more and more aggressive."

We tried asking paramedics on the strike line if they feel the arrest will hinder negotiations but they did not want to talk on camera.