Interpreters stand in solidarity with striking court workers

by Anabelle Garay

July 16, 2012

Interpreters supported striking court employees Monday as a walkout by clerks closed most courtrooms in San Francisco.

Court interpreters were told to remain in the courthouse and available to work despite the stoppage in various departments. Some members of the California Federation of Interpreters used their lunch breaks to stand in solidarity and cheer on their striking coworkers outside Superior Court.

The court workers, members of SEIU 1021, chanted and walked in a circle holding picket signs outside the courthouse entrance.

They want the Administrative Office of the Courts to turn over financial information as part of contract negotiations. Court officials say they’ve responded to requests.

SEIU and court administrators have been at an impasse since the spring and the court employees endured a 5 percent salary cut earlier this month.

Court spokeswoman Ann E. Donlan maintained the strike didn’t paralyze the court system but did disrupt services for those looking to deal with a traffic ticket, file documents or pull records. Clerk’s offices and the court self-help center were among the departments closed.

Ms. Garay, a field representative for the California Federation of Interpreters, can be reached at

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Pacific Media Workers Executive Officer