Connect with us


Supervisors Call Out Health Care Workers Union For Aggressive Tactics



Share with friends

Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig is calling out the union representing home health care workers after they engaged in a “car caravan” protest in his Clovis neighborhood Thursday night.

“Intimidation tactics will never be tolerated. This evening, SEIU 2015 came into my neighborhood, intimidated my wife and neighbors, almost hit two children with their cars. Clovis PD was called. It appears this was an organized attack on my neighborhood. I find these tactics appalling. If you have a dispute with me face me, leave my neighbors and wife out of it,” Magsig posted on Facebook.

For nearly every supervisor meeting for the past two years, purple-clad SEIU members addressed the board, complaining about wages. In flyers posted by Magsig, the SEIU organized the caravan to drive through supervisors’ neighborhoods.

“The Fresno board of supervisors are proposing to keep IHSS workers at poverty level wages and they want to eliminate our healthcare insurance. THAT IS NOT FAIR!!!” the flyer said.

The SEIU flyer references a car caravan in the neighborhoods of supervisors Steve Brandau and Nathan Magsig.

Video posted by ABC 30 shows cars driving and honking in the Fresno neighborhood of Supervisor Steve Brandau.

SEIU Responds

SEIU 2015 president Arnulfo De La Cruz justified the protest in a statement to the media.

“Yesterday, we held an approximately five-minute peaceful action where we drove through a neighborhood and honked our horns to get the attention of the Supervisors. We had informed the neighborhood the day before that we would be doing this and asked them to join us,” De La Cruz said.

SEIU says workers make $16.10 an hour, and supervisors have only offered an 85 cent per hour raise. De La Cruz said the supervisors initially offered a 15 cent an hour pay raise, then raised it to 85 cents in exchange for eliminating the workers’ health care funding.

“This workforce is mostly women of color. And while workers all across the country are going on strike, this is a group of workers who can’t strike … they can’t walk out on those they care for. The peaceful actions they’re taking now are their cry for justice. The time to support these essential workers and provide them with living wages is now and we will continue to pressure Supervisors through peaceful protest until they negotiate with us in good faith,” De La Cruz said.

De La Cruz denied that the union protesters were violent or nearly hit a child on Magsig’s street. No one was outside when protesters arrived, and in fact one was a target of violence, De La Cruz said. A resident ripped a poster off a car and shoved it in an organizer’s face, which prompted a call to police, he said.

Brandau: I Wasn’t Home

Supervisor Steve Brandau called the car caravan protest a “pretty sketchy tactic” but said he wasn’t bothered by it, largely because he wasn’t home at the time.

He said he arrived on his street just as the protesters were leaving and learned from his neighbors what had been going on. While there was anger in Magsig’s neighborhood, possible because he lives on a cul-de-sac, Brandau said his neighbors were more confused by the noisy caravan.

“In the end of the day, it was a pretty ineffective way of kind of getting their message across,” he said. “It certainly probably backfired, in my opinion, to come to where somebody lives and to kind of just like, ‘hey, we’re going to be right in your face.’ I don’t know if it’s the best plan, but that’s what they did.”

Brandau said the health care workers union needs to address their pay concerns to lawmakers in Sacramento, not the Fresno County supervisors, because the county contributes only a portion of their pay. “The bulk of this needs to be addressed in Sacramento,” he said.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email