Gold Cross strike officially over, employees fire union

Imperial Valley

Gold Cross strike officially over, employees fire union

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EL CENTRO, CALIF. (13 On Your Side) - A 62-day-old labor strike is over. Paramedics in Imperial Valley voted to fire its own union - effectively ending its labor dispute with Gold Cross Ambulance Service.

An election that has taken over the last three days ended at 10 this morning.

Non-striking and striking paramedics and EMTs voted 51-35 with the majority booting out the paramedic's union - Teamsters Local 542.

Both strikers and non-strikers voted to end the labor stalemate because they felt the union was not representing their best interest - to end the strike.  

Last month - non-striking paramedics sent a petition to the National Labor Relations Board to form their own union.

Now that the strike against Gold Cross - that lasted 62 days - is officially over, lead dispatcher Jacque Ackinson says she can now come to work in peace.

 "I'm excited. I think it's a fresh start for us. It's been stressful having them here all day long – screaming and saying unprofessional things. So I think that everyone is relieved that it's finally over."

 We tried asking strikers what they plan to do now that the strike is over, but they refused to comment on camera.

Meanwhile, non-strikers plan to form an internal committee and negotiate their own contracts.  

"So, one from each department to meet and discuss things with upper management," says Ackinson. 

13 On Your Side spoke with the company manager, John Goodall, off-camera to ask if the strikers will get their jobs back.  

He says, because of the hostile environment the strikers brought over the last 62 days, the company does not want them back.

13 On Your Side also spoke with Imperial County Board of Supervisors chairman Ray Castillo.

He says the county cannot step in to help strikers get their jobs back, but he hopes the company considers it. If not, he says the Board of Supervisors will think twice about renewing Gold Cross' contract when it is up in 2015.

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