Members of a faculty and staff union at Compton Community College have authorized their negotiators to call for a strike if contract talks with the administration remain at what they regard as an impasse.
Although it is only a preliminary action, the vote sets the stage for what could become the second union walkout in less than three years.
College spokesman Charles Cropsey said administrators don't think of the talks, which began when the union contract expired last July, "as being stalled." He said mediation by state officials was "suspended when we came up with our last and best (salary) offer and requested a vote of the membership" on that issue.
The strike authorization, Cropsey said, "seems to us a bit premature, and we can only view it as an attempt to influence us through the menace of a strike."