11,000 Los Angeles City Workers Go On Strike

Thousands of city employees in Los Angeles embarked on a 24-hour strike on Tuesday, demanding higher wages and citing alleged unfair labor practices.

Organized by SEIU Local 721, the strike saw a diverse range of workers, including sanitation workers, lifeguards, and traffic officers, walk off the job and form picket lines across various locations, including Los Angeles International Airport and City Hall.

The walkout, which affected services such as parking enforcement and traffic operations, aimed to draw attention to the city’s failure to engage in meaningful bargaining and its alleged restriction of employee and union rights. The union claimed that more than 11,000 city workers, including mechanics, engineers, and airport custodians, participated in the walkout.

City employees voiced their grievances, highlighting the financial challenges they face due to low wages. Marce Dethouars, a 54-year-old sanitation worker, pointed out that many employees couldn’t afford to live near their workplaces and had to endure long commutes. Destiny Webb, a 21-year-old college student managing a city pool, called for a 40% to 50% wage increase and better resources for poorly staffed facilities.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass expressed the city’s commitment to fair contracts and negotiation but acknowledged that some services were affected by the strike. Trash pickup schedules were delayed by a day, and Los Angeles International Airport advised travelers to anticipate extra travel time during the strike period.

This strike was the latest in a series of labor actions affecting Los Angeles, with Hollywood writers, actors, hotel workers, and school staff engaging in various forms of protest and walkouts in recent months.

SEIU Local 721 Chief of Staff Gilda Valdez emphasized that the strike aimed to send a strong message to city officials to resume negotiations and address workers’ concerns. The union had previously agreed to a one-year deal with the city in 2022, with the understanding that further negotiations would occur. However, the city’s failure to honor this agreement led to dissatisfaction among union members.

As the strike concluded, there were plans to resume negotiations between the union and the city officials during the week of August 14. 

Meanwhile, in Northern California, two unions representing nearly 4,500 San Jose city employees also voted to authorize a three-day strike in the following week.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply