Port Ritchie Workers Join CWA, Make Peace with City

City workers in Port Richey, Fla., voted 18-1 to bring their unit of 21 workers into CWA Local 3179.

"These public employees have been very courageous in standing up for their right to join a union against threats and intimidation by some city commissioners," said local President Stephen Sarnoff, reporting the victory on Feb. 10.

Not only did the workers put up with threats and intimidation from city commissioners prior to their election, but also a budget proposal put forth at a public meeting earmarked $20,000 for an attorney to oppose the workers in bargaining.

After one commissioner complained about the cost of fighting the union, Sarnoff addressed the meeting, pointing out that, "We did not require a fight and we did not require them to hire an attorney at $315 an hour."

The mayor and city manager have since expressed in a newspaper article that they believe a reasonable agreement can be reached.

District 3 Organizing Coordinator Liz Roberson worked on the campaign.