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Will County union workers hit picket lines

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Updated: December 19, 2013 6:29AM



Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 1028 went on strike Monday morning.

As many as 1,000 workers in a wide variety of Will County offices were eligible to walk off the job. The workers are going on strike after 15 months of negotiations failed to produce new contracts for the workers.

Employees were planning to picket more than 20 sites in the county, said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall.

“County workers want the same thing every working person wants, fair pay and health care we can afford,” AFSCME Local 1028 president Dave Delrose said in a press release.

Will County officials say the county budget is tight, and they can’t afford to offer more to union workers than they already have.

The two sides can’t agree on cost of living raises and insurance premium payments for the workers.

AFSCME represents more than 1,200 employees in the county court system, health department, highway department, Sunny Hill Nursing Home, county jail, and in the offices of the sheriff, coroner, recorder, assessor, clerk, chief judge, circuit clerk, executive and state’s attorney.

Correctional officers can’t go on strike by law. And 911 dispatchers had to report for work on Monday, too, after a Will County judge granted the county a temporary restraining order on Friday. The Illinois Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing on the dispatchers and deputy coroners on Monday to see if they are essential employees who should not be allowed to strike.



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