EL CENTRO – For the second time strikers face the board of supervisors in Imperial County requesting they put pressure on Gold Cross to come to an agreement.
“They’ve lowered their standards and during a time like this if anything they need to up their standards and the County should hold them accountable and the people of this county should hold them accountable to that,” Gold Cross striker David Creiglow said.
The strikers claim Gold Cross replacements aren’t as experienced as those walking the picket line and they may not be fully certified.
“There’s other agencies coming in that are assisting Gold Cross Ambulance Service in meeting their contract obligations but they are the ones that are pulling forward on the emergency services not Gold Cross,” Teamsters Local 42 representative Ruth Duarte said.
Board of Supervisor Chair Ray Castillo says Health Services has been monitoring the situation making sure requirements are being met.
“So far staff says the company that’s replacing the current folks on strike. They’ve been able to recruit qualified staff,” Castillo said.
“They are the gatekeepers they are the ones that can give notice to Gold Cross Ambulance Service,” Duarte said.
The strikers’ are concerned that inexperienced and not fully certified workers would work on their loved one and on others in the community.
“We have medics here that are ready, willing and experienced ready to work. Ms. Duarte says we have thousands of hours of experience and yet brand new EMTS and paramedics running these calls,” Creiglow said.
The federal mediator, Gold Cross and a representative for the strike team will meet again to negotiate on the 20th.