Gold Cross Ambulance strike is over


 Gold Cross Ambulance office

EL CENTRO – The strike against Gold Cross Ambulance Service (GAS) by Teamsters Local 542 is over.

Employees of GAS voted September 26, 27, and 28 not to re-certify the union.

The union will no longer represent the GAS employees.

The strike began July 28 by about 60 ambulance drivers, paramedics, and EMT’s employed by GAS after negotiations failed to produce results.

Phil Farias, president of Teamsters Local 42, was arrested September 1 after allegedly assaulting GAS Division Manager John Goodall. The incident was captured on video surveillance cameras.

“The employees went on strike under false information from the union,” said Goodall.

The hourly wage is just a portion of the total package paid to employees. Medical, dental, and prescriptions are all covered. Vacation, sick leave, uniform allowances, out-of-county transfer bonuses, and safety bonuses are some of the items in the pay packages. Starting pay is approximately$40k plus the generous benefits package.

GAS hired replacements for the striking employees. Many strikers resigned from the union and crossed the picket lines during the strike to go back to work.

“The enthusiasm here is up with the new people and the employees that have crossed the strike line,” said Goodall. “Hospitals and emergency responders have commented on the professionalism and renewed exuberance. The company is experiencing a reinvigorating time.”

Former employees that continued to strike may have a chance to be rehired, but only part time since all full time positions are filled.

“The employees are ecstatic over the vote results from Friday, ” Said Goodall. “Everyone was high-fiving each other. The vote was 51 to 35 not to re-certify the union. The union packed everything up, including their trailer and all their trash, and were out of here in 45 minutes.”

The Teamsters left their strike post near the Gold Cross facility without incident.

Cedric Cesena, Imperial County Emergency Services Manager, said, “Gold Cross Ambulance Service has been exceeding minimum performance standards. The comments we are getting from first responders are very positive. Excellent customer care and a more professional workforce is what we are hearing.”






  1. Recently our family had a medical emergency. Fire department and Gold Cross paramedics responded and I am deeply grateful for their caring, patient and professional demeanor.

    I find it is unacceptable and sad that they are not paid their real worth. First responders are valuable employees who deserve a decent wage so as to provide their families a great future.

    Under paying valuable employees creates a turnover rate that hurts our community because new staff means they have to be trained.

    Please give these hardworking folks a livable salary so Imperial County can continue to benefit from the excellent services our first responders provide!

  2. Its funny how its only a one sided article. We the workers did not go on strike because of what the union said we went on strike because of the actions the company took or failed to do. No one should work in a hostile work environment like it was at goldcross with its so called management or lack thereof. Harassing employes, threatening them, intimidating them and even racial discrimination from someone who is not even EMS certified in any level nor is he from this county. Everyone was “high-fiving” each other because of the pay check that the company gave them to vote against the union. These people make me sick. their is no sense of pride or honor in regards to our citizens. Who ever wants a copy of the trash that they called a deal let me know…

  3. Well I hope that gold cross is at least going to pay these EMT’s and Paramedics what they deserve…$*.63 is not enough to feed a family on or to live on. After haveing been involved in a traffic collison where my son was life flighted, the first responders were the fire department… They did a fabulous job. You have to see that every life they come across is in there hands…Pay them what there worth..after all a 3 block ride in the ambulance cost $500.00…way to much.

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