For Immediate Release Contact: Tim Jenkins, (415) 275-0528, firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Control Officers will strike against unfair labor practices and unacceptable shelter conditions
(San Mateo, Calif.) – On Tuesday, March 14, Animal Control Officers (ACO) at the Peninsula Humane Society (PHS) – members of Teamsters 856 – announced at the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors that they will go on a one-day strike on Friday, March 17. The strike comes in response to unfair labor practices by PHS and PHS President Ken White, as well as their refusal to agree to a fair 3% cost of living adjustment for ACOs.
“In San Mateo County, Animal Control Officers work hard to get injured, lost, or dangerous animals off the street and into safety,” said Teamsters 856 Secretary-Treasurer Peter Finn. “Our members are doing their job, it’s time for Ken White and the rest of the PHS Board of Directors to do theirs. We’re holding them accountable for denying their employees fair compensation, and the deplorable and unsafe conditions of the facility.”
Animal Control Officers have blown the whistle on broken kennels for the shelter’s animals, dangerously high temperatures in the vehicles used to transport animals because of lack of air conditioning, and a crumbling roof inside the facility itself – to date, only the kennels have been repaired.
If PHS isn’t spending donor dollars and the $6 million it receives from San Mateo County to retain good staff and keep the animals safe, what are they doing with the money?
PHS President Ken White was paid $476,827 in 2014, while PHS Animal Control Officers make just $16.36 an hour. When asked about the outrageous amount of Ken White’s salary, PHS refused to provide the consultant’s report that justifies the amount. They’ve also tried to coerce and interfere with the vote on their contract proposal – all adding up to unfair labor practices.
“We’re not going to allow Ken White and the PHS Board of Directors to get away with unfair labor practices or unsafe conditions for the animals,” said Dylan Skiles who is an Animal Control Officer and member of Teamsters 856. “If Ken White deserves to pad his pockets every year, then we more than deserve a fair wage, so we can provide for our families. We’re going on strike to shed light on the secret society, known as the Board of Directors and show the public what’s really happening at PHS.”
Teamsters 856 is also asking the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors to use their influence to end the unfair labor practices. The one-day strike will take place on Friday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lantos Center, 1450 Rollins Rd., Burlingame. More information about PHS’s unfair labor practices and shelter conditions can be found at: www.phswhistleblower.com.
Founded in 1949, Teamsters Local 856 represents more than 10,000 hardworking members in the San Francisco Bay Area, North Bay, Sacramento, and Central Valley communities.