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Utah – Workers Cast Historic Vote to Join AFSCME

Demonstrating Strength - Members of Utah AFSCME Local 1004 rally at the state Capitol this winter to protest legislation that would hurt public employee retirement.

Demonstrating Strength
Demonstrating Strength - Members of Utah AFSCME Local 1004 rally at the state Capitol this winter to protest legislation that would hurt public employee retirement. (Photo credit: Utah AFSCME)

Salt Lake County, Utah

For the first time, more than 400 Salt Lake County employees will be represented by a union — Utah AFSCME Local 1004.

Salt Lake County certified the election results in December and declared AFSCME the winner, with 83 percent of the votes cast for the union.

“The victory in the skilled trades, services and maintenance is part of a tide of momentum building throughout the county in support of AFSCME,” says Utah AFSCME Local 1004 Exec. Dir. Patty Rich. “County employees in a wide array of jobs — from nurses to security officers to lab technicians — are uniting with Utah AFSCME because the employees take enormous pride in Salt Lake County. Together we’re working to improve the quality of the services we provide and prevent future pay cuts that hurt our local economy.”

The 408 county employees who make up the unit could vote for union representation only after AFSCME had gained passage of a collective bargaining ordinance earlier this year. A 2.75 percent pay cut, approved by the county last year, motivated the workers in their decisive vote to join AFSCME.

“I have a family to support,” explains John Farrer, who has worked in the Highway Department for six years. “We need a strong union voice to represent the interests of working families. That’s why I voted for Utah AFSCME.”

Local 1004 has represented employees in Salt Lake City since approval of a collective bargaining resolution in 1977. In addition to the Salt Lake County unit, the union represents employees of the state of Utah and various municipalities and counties.

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