When an infestation of rats overwhelmed the employees of the DMV call center in Fresno, SEIU Local 1000 and agency management combined efforts with local health authorities to solve the problem.

The health and safety of our represented employees is a union value. The call center is situated in a largely unoccupied strip mall, and this isn’t the first time the building has encountered a pest problem.

But it’s never been this bad, and this infestation threatened the well-being of the workers. Within a week of the first signs of this round of infestation, DMV suspended its rotating, in-office expectations and all workers were remote.

Initially, the department was slow to respond, but with increased pressure from Local 1000 members and staff, and some additional leverage from SEIU State Council, DMV management from Sacramento was soon on the ground and instituting greater relief measures.

In the final analysis, it’s the DMV’s responsibility to work with the property owner for maintenance issues. And, there’s added scrutiny on the building safety coming from the Fresno County Department of Public Health and the City of Fresno Code Enforcement Division.

More important, this issue was solved first and foremost through the efforts of our members at DMV, who stood up for their rights and helped engage the tools to solve the issue.