- Over 11,000 Los Angeles city workers, including others in various sectors like actors and hotel employees, are planning to strike, echoing labor movements of yesteryears.
- The heart of the issue is alleged “bad faith bargaining” by city officials, with concerns over worker resources and significant job vacancies, especially in sanitation.
- Mayor Karen Bass has emphasized the city’s commitment to its workers, while union leader David Green pushes for renewed negotiations with city administrators in the coming week.
The city of Los Angeles, frequently in the headlines for its progressive policies and Hollywood lifestyle, may soon find itself grappling with an extensive standstill.
A significant portion of its workforce, aligning themselves with hotel employees, actors, and writers, are now poised to strike, echoing labor movements from earlier decades.
More than 11,000 city workers are joining the growing list of professionals, which includes hotel employees, actors, and writers, who have chosen to make a stand and voice their concerns through labor strikes this year.
David Green, the executive director and president of SEIU Local 721, a union representing over 98,000 county and city employees in Southern California, emphasized the gravity of the situation: “We’re going to shut down the city of Los Angeles,” he declared.
Green further added, “Our workers are at their wit’s end. They need the city to return to the negotiation table for the betterment of Los Angeles.”
Historically, it’s been over four decades since Local 721 has resorted to such measures. But this year has seen an unusual uptick in labor movements, with a notable strike by Hollywood actors and writers.
Furthermore, Los Angeles hotel workers, from housekeepers to cooks, staged a strike recently, emphasizing wage and benefit disputes.
Beyond the city limits of LA, the national landscape has also witnessed significant labor activity.
For instance, the United Parcel Service (UPS) employees, backed by the influential International Brotherhood of Teamsters, were on the verge of a monumental strike, though it was fortunately averted.
In total, an astounding 322,000 U.S. workers have already participated in strikes this year.
At the heart of the impending LA strike is what Green calls “bad faith bargaining” by city officials. He highlights concerns such as worker resources and critical job vacancies, especially pointing out the 900 unfilled roles in sanitation alone.
“Unfortunately, City Hall seems to be led by out-of-touch administrators. We’ve been raising concerns for years. It’s high time they return to the bargaining table,” Green stated.
Mayor Karen Bass, in response, voiced her commitment to the workers of the city, saying, “City workers play a pivotal role in serving millions of Angelenos daily. They deserve just contracts. We’ve been engaging earnestly with SEIU 721 since the beginning of the year. Our doors remain open for dialogue anytime.”
Amid these tensions, key establishments like the Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles have not commented on the possible disruptions due to the strike.
Green revealed that the union plans to resume discussions with city officials in the coming week.