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Delta Dental Workers Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike

Delta Dental Workers Overwhelmingly Authorize Strike

Union Meets Today with Federal Mediators, Company

June 17, 2002

(Washington, D.C.) – By a nearly unanimous 650-3 vote, clerical workers at Delta Dental in California have authorized a strike if a fair contract cannot be reached.

“The members are upset with attempts by this corporate giant to take away benefits and increase hours of work without an equal pay increase,” said Michael J. McLaughlin, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 856, which represents some 1,000 Delta workers in San Francisco and Rancho Cordova.

Union negotiators are meeting today with management to nail down an agreement. Members have been working without a contract since May 31, and Local 856 will not grant an extension while bargaining continues.

Delta Dental processes 19 million claims annually, and 92 percent of California dentists participate in the plan. Some five million Denti-Cal participants belong as part of the state’s Medi-Cal program.

“This is a healthy company. Delta has 24 percent of the dental insurance market, and its nearest competition has 7 percent,” noted McLaughlin. “The members know this, and are not accepting the company’s poor-mouth approach to negotiations.”

Local 856 is the largest Teamster local in Northern California, with more than 7,000 members. Founded in 1903, The Teamsters Union represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States and Canada.

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