The historic San Diego County Administration Center on the waterfront in downtown San Diego. Courtesy County News Center

A union that represents more than 10,000 county of San Diego employees has called a meeting for Wednesday evening in preparation for a possible strike.

The call by the Service Employees International Union Local 221 came as a mediation session between the labor group and county officials stretched into a second day, county spokesman Michael Workman said.

He called the extended session a cause for optimism.

In a statement, SEIU officials said the strike, if held, would protest “ongoing unfair labor practices,” including a refusal to bargain in good faith, by county management. Last week, 90 percent of the rank-and-file that cast ballots authorized union leaders to call a strike, if necessary, according to the SEIU.

“Workers have been attempting to bargain an agreement with the county since February of this year but they have been met by illegal harassment, intimidation and refusal to bargain in good faith,” according to the SEIU. “The county has presented a take-it-or-leave-it attitude since the beginning of the process and has repeatedly presented worsening offers as workers have attempted to reach a compromise.”

The union’s bargaining team has agreed to give the county 10 days notice before striking.

Workman said the county is prepared if the union calls for a work stoppage.

“If the union does call for a strike, we will be ready and remain open for business,” Workman said.

Employees deemed essential are expected to be exempted from a strike, if it occurs.

–City News Service