May 26, 2024

‘Not able to afford housing’: Yamhill County Employees Association kicks off strike

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A strike is underway for members of the Yamhill County Employees Association with picket lines forming in McMinnville.

Union members kicked off the strike at 10 a.m. on Friday in a push for better pay. YCEA members say they are striking so they can afford to live in the county they work in.

“With the rapid cost of living increases happening in Yamhill County, many workers are not able to afford housing and basic necessities and many are eligible for state assistance due to low pay,” the union said in a press release sent on Thursday.

The Yamhill County Employees Association covers 400 workers in nearly every department, including “behavioral health and public health clinics, developmental disability services, victim advocacy with the county District Attorney, public works, and many other departments.”

According to YCEA, Yamhill County pays its employees “well below market value compared to counties with similar population sizes, and the cost of living in the area is increasing rapidly due to the burgeoning wine and tourism industries.”

“People are actually having to decide what bills they are going to pay,” YCEA President Michelle Mendoza said.