Workers at East Bay Regional Parks are threatening to walk off the job, just in time for the busy Fourth of July holiday.
Cliff Rocha is a ranger at Lake Temescal, and says park employees have been working without a contract since the end of March, and now workers are threatening a strike on the Fourth of July.
"We will be at the park entrances telling them about our plight," said Cliff Rocha, local president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. "Encouraging them to come on in, but asking for their support."
Park workers say a strike would affect everything from garbage pickup to bathroom cleanup, rangers, and lifeguards. In short, it would be an entirely different park experience for visitors.
"So you can imagine the bathrooms are going to get dirty, the garbage is going to pile up, but we're hoping the public will understand and stand in solidarity with us," Rocha said.
Park managers say they want to negotiate and whatever happens, the parks will be open for visitors for the holiday.
"The park district will stay open, it always is," said Carol Johnson of the East Bay Regional Park District. "We will do what it takes with managers or something else to make sure that Fourth of July is a great one for the residents of the Bay Area."
Some park visitors Saturday say a strike could wind up hurting the park workers.
"I think they should be happy where they are," said Tam Hernandez, a park visitor. "I mean, we're in a recession anyways. They should be happy with what they've got."
Others say they'd like to see workers get more money.
"If it's fair enough, I think they should basically get what they want," said Eva Presley, a park visitor.
Workers have voted to authorize a strike and say the only thing that would stop that is a contract.
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