Still no agreement between union and county

Union members went on strike in downtown Eugene Wednesday morning.

Posted: Oct 20, 2017 1:16 PM
Updated: Oct 20, 2017 1:16 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Union workers started their strike Wednesday morning. It started at 6 a.m.

The strike followed nine months of failed negotiations between Lane County and members represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. 

On Tuesday, there was a last-ditch attempt to reach an agreement. Representatives from both sides stayed awake throughout the night, but they remained at a stalemate Wednesday morning.

Despite the strike underway, both sides said negotiations continue.

Meanwhile, demonstrators hit the streets in downtown Eugene, holding signs saying "Lane County works because we do" and "We want a fair contract." Many picketers were also chanting while drivers honked as they passed by. 

 "We are disappointed in the county, our team made every good faith effort and took every creative idea to reach an agreement," said LaRece Rivera, union president.

The county said they are trying to reaching an agreement with the union that balances competitive wages and benefits.

"Lane County remains committed to continuing to negotiations with AFSCME toward a contract agreement that balances providing competitive wages and benefits to employees with its responsibility to be good stewards of limited taxpayer resources," a statement emailed to KEZI 9 News. 

While the strike remains in effect, Lane County set up a community hotline at 541-682-3977. The hotline is open from 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday­ through Friday, until the strike ends. 

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