Posted: 9:35 p.m.
Monday was day two of the strike for 60 Gold Cross Ambulance employees.
Negotiations between the company and union employees began in January, but as of Sunday, negotiations fell apart.
"While we've made some headway in some areas, we have pretty much four outstanding issues that have led to the strike," said Phil Farias, president of Teamsters Local 542.
He said union members are asking for a pay increase, adequate health care benefits for new employees, better working conditions, and functioning equipment.
On El Centro's Imperial Avenue, strikers have been staked out around the clock taking eight-hour shifts.
EL CENTRO--Sixty employees of Gold Cross Ambulance have been on strike since Sunday.
Alex Ochoa has been working for Gold Cross Ambulance as a paramedic for 13 years.
"We're running out on calls--we break down going to a call. Or we have a patient on board--A/C's not working in the back. We're handing them ice packs and apologizing to them," Ochoa said.
News 11 asked the director of operations, Jimmy McNeal about the frequent ambulance breakdowns.
"Well, we were the victim of sabotage," McNeal said.
He said over the last week and a half leading up to the strike, staff found that four ambulances suspiciously had contaminated radiator coolant.
McNeal said he will have the substance tested.
As for other ambulance breakdowns in months prior, McNeal said, "Ambulances will break down. We're not the manufacturer of the ambulances."
For those on strike, starting hourly wages range from $8.78 to $9.77.
Strikers said they're asking for a $1 an hour pay increase.
But the issue of hourly wage increases is not that simple, McNeal said.
"It doesn't sound like a whole bunch, but when you get into how many hours people are putting out there, it amounts to quite a bit."
While these employees are on strike, Gold Cross Ambulance has brought in an outside source to handle the calls for service.
Union members said they are prepared to strike as long as it takes to reach a deal.