Members of Los Angeles County's largest employee union have voted overwhelmingly to authorize their leaders to call a strike.

Service Employees International Union Local 721 spokesman Lowell Goodman tells the Los Angeles Times Saturday that 95 percent of voters opted for the authorization. Goodman wouldn't say exactly how many voted, but the union has more than 41,000 members.

The union has been stuck in months of contentious talks with the county over wages, health care and working conditions.

County leaders say they've been bargaining in good faith with employees, and the vote is premature.

The authorization does not lead directly to a strike, but gives the option to union leaders.

Blanca Gomez, a social worker and union leader, says she is hoping to end the stalemate at the bargaining table.

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