Civil rights activist, Dolores Huerta, among several arrested during protest in Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Eight people were handcuffed and taken to jail following a peaceful but very vocal protest inside the Fresno County Hall of Records Tuesday.

Wearing purple shirts, protesters filled the hallway outside of the Board of Supervisors Chambers just as deputies tried to get the large crowd to disperse.

The issue at hand: County caregivers are demanding a pay increase, which they say they haven't received in ten years.

A couple of hundred protesters arrived to have their voices heard.

"We had to do something drastic and something different and let them know we mean business," said Holly Hickenbottom.

After nearly a year of negotiations with County representatives the caregivers union, SEIU says they've been offered just a 10-cent an hour raise.

Caregivers currently make $12 an hour and called the County's proposal an insult.

"I think they think home care providers just sit around and watch soap operas and hang out and just babysit but that's just not my case. I work hard," Hickenbottom said.

The County Supervisors did not address the protesters since negotiations remain ongoing, but well known Civil Rights leader Dolores Huerta was among the group of eight that was arrested and released.

"The reason I decided to get arrested because I am angry that the way the home care providers are treated," said Huerta. "They have gone over a decade without having a wage increase."

Huerta says she wanted to bring attention to the challenge caregivers face and lend her support during the negotiations.

"We're not going to stop until home care workers get the wage increase and health benefits they deserve," Huerta said.

Tuesday's protest was well organized; union leaders obtained the proper paperwork before the protest, so the sheriff's department was well aware of the situation.

The two sides are expected to meet at the negotiation table on Thursday.

The union says if they don't get what they want, they will continue to protest.
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