Famed labor activist criticizes firing of Arvin city manager

Famed labor activist criticizes firing of Arvin city manager »Play Video
Well-known labor rights activist Dolores Huerta on Tuesday comes to the defense of former Arvin City Manager Alan Christensen, who was fired Feb. 15.
ARVIN, Calif. — Well-known labor rights activist Dolores Huerta came to the defense of former Arvin City Manager Alan Christensen on Tuesday.

The Arvin City Council voted 4-1 on Feb. 15 to fire Christensen.

"We want to know the reasons why they took this action," said Huerta at a news conference outside Arvin City Hall.

Huerta is the cofounder of the United Farm Workers Union and is retired but operates the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

Huerta addressed the City Council and urged them to reconsider their decision to fire Christensen. Huerta credited the former city manager for "doing a good job" and bringing in "millions and millions of dollars to Arvin" for a new park and other projects.

Huerta's position apparently puts her at odds with another labor union, SEIU. Union members and city employees have picketed outside Arvin city hall in the past, demanding Christensen be fired.

Among some of the charges were that Christensen favored promoting white employees and creating a hostile work environment.

SEIU spokesman James Geluso said SEIU had no comment on Huerta's efforts to rehire Christensen.

City Council member Jose Flores said the council could not state the reasons why Christensen was let go, because it is legally prohibited from doing so. But, Flores did say the Council made the right decision in firing Christensen and the Council would not reconsider its decision.