over 10,000 municipal workers in la strike unfair labor practices, poor city management
In the latest round strikes that seem to plague the United States, more than 10,000 municipal workers in Los Angeles went on a 24-hour strike. Sanitation workers, heavy duty mechanics, lifeguards, airport personnel and traffic officers, among others are voicing their grievances on picket lines.
Represented by SEIU 721, the workers are protesting the city’s poor management and other unfair labor practices restricting employee and union rights. The union in a statement said the city has flat-out refused to honor previous agreements at the bargaining table. It highlighted that the city workers tried to engage management in fair bargaining process but to no avail. As such, the workers filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the City of Los Angeles Employee Relations Board.
Mayor Karen Bass said the city was not going to shut down. “The city will always be available to make progress with SEIU 721, and we will continue bargaining in good faith.” However, the strike led to disruptions to trash-pickup and non-emergency 311 call center delays, animal shelter and swimming pool closings. Bass said parking enforcement, traffic operations, control for permitted special events and constituent calls for service to signals and sign repair will be impacted.
Gilda Valdez, Chief of Staff of SEIU Local 721, said they are not trying to destroy or hurt anything. The union, which represents more than 95,000 public service workers in Southern California, wants to send a strong message to the city of LA “Don’t come to the table and mess with us.”
The mayor said city officials are available around the clock to make progress on contract negotiations. “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 bargaining in good faith with SEIU 721 since January.”
Bass highlighted that the city will always be available to make progress 24 hours a day, seven days a week.