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Thousands of Los Angeles City Workers Prepare for One-Day Strike

Time to Read: 3 minute
Thousands of Los Angeles City Workers Prepare for One Day Strike
Thousands of Los Angeles City Workers Prepare for One Day Strike
Khushbu Kumari

Workers gather at 11:00 am in front of City Hall to celebrate a march and a rally; among the employees participating in the work stoppage are health workers and traffic officers.

More than 11,000 workers in the city of Los Angeles are preparing for a one-day strike that they will hold this Tuesday as protest contract negotiations between union representatives and city leaders.

Employees plan to hold a 24-hour demonstration outside City Hall and Los Angeles International Airport, among other sites, to protest the refusal to deal.

It will be the first work stoppage of its kind in more than 40 years.

City employees scheduled to walk out include sanitation workers, heavy-duty mechanics, traffic officers and engineers, who are represented by SEIU Local 721.

In May, workers voted 98% in favor of authorizing a strike due to unfair labor practices, in case negotiations do not advance.

Union representatives said workers will gather this Tuesday at 11:00 am in front of City Hall for a march and rally. However, they announced that the protests will begin at 4:00 am in different places throughout the city.

“Despite repeated attempts by city workers to engage management in a fair bargaining process, the city has flatly refused to honor previous agreements at the bargaining table, resulting in led workers to file charges alleging unfair labor practices with the City of Los Angeles Employee Relations Board,” SEIU 721 officials said in a statement released last week.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who was in Washington, DC this weekend to hold meetings with federal officials, said Saturday that city officials were available 24 hours a day to advance negotiations of the contract.

“City workers are vital to the function of services for millions of Angelenos every day and to our local economy. They deserve fair contracts and we have been negotiating in good faith with SEIU 721 since January. The City will always be available to move forward 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” the mayor said.

Bass clarified that the emergency services of the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Fire Department will not be affected by this strike.

The announcement of the work stoppage by workers of Los Angeles performs amid ongoing walkouts by Hollywood actors and writers, as well as thousands of hotel employees, such as bellboys, receptionists, maids, waiters, cooks and dishwashers, represented by the union Unite Here Local 11.

SEIU Local 721 represents more than 95,000 City of Los Angeles workers.

This strike comes as the City of Los Angeles is at a turning point as officials prepare to take on the next years the World Cup and the Olympic Games. The two great events present themselves as enormous challenges for the entire southern California region, which will have a large influx of tourists and athletes that implies enormous pressure on the city's first-line services.

In addition, a worker walkout occurs when the city registers a vacancy rate of more than 20% in all departments.

This Tuesday, Los Angeles residents could experience a lack of services, with a lack of staff who pick up trash, work in parks or at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

In November 2022, SEIU Local 721 ratified a one-year agreement with the city with a commitment that both sides would return to the negotiating table after the winter break, SEIU Local 721 chief of staff Gilda Valdez told the Los Angeles Times. The two parties would enter into negotiations on a series of specific proposals.

However, according to Valdez, the city reneged on its promise to negotiate on these issues, so the union filed an unfair labor practices complaint with the City of Los Angeles Employee Relations Board, in addition to other complaints. during the last few months.

The most recent strike by workers in the city of Los Angeles occurred in November 1980.

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