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San Francisco Court Workers Picket

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 25, 2014

(CN) - San Francisco Superior Court workers picketed at the Civic Center Courthouse on Tuesday as union members held a vote on whether to walk off their jobs if talks with court managers don't bring a pay raise.     

The scene outside the main entrance to the civil courthouse across from City Hall was celebratory and confrontational, with a large gray rat on display and union leaders exhorting the crowd of workers. During the course of labor negotiations, the court workers have often donned purple clothing on Wednesdays to show support for the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 which has a purple logo.     

Signalling a high level of commitment to his cause, one court worker picketing on Wednesday wore a purple bow tie with a purple shirt. A bus had brought additional demonstrators from the criminal courthouse.     

"I don't like getting disrespected," union chapter president Diane Williams said over a loudspeaker. "We want the money!"     Court spokeswoman Ann Donlan said it would not be appropriate to discuss labor issues with the media while negotiations between court and union representatives are under way.     

In addition to picketing, the court workers were also filling out ballots at tables set up on the sidewalk, deciding whether to walk off the job if they do not win a raise.     

The clerks, who marched during their lunch breaks, were pressing for a raise just two years after a long and largely successful battle in 2012 to reverse a 5% pay cut that came along with draconian cuts to the statewide court budget. That 2012 showdown included a brief strike, before the two sides came to agreement.

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