Los Angeles city workers prepare to strike Tuesday

Mayor Karen Bass said Saturday that Los Angeles officials are "available to make progress" around the clock this weekend on new contracts with workers, one day after the union representing city employees announced that members will head to the picket lines Tuesday morning for a 24- hour strike to protest what they deemed a refusal to bargain in good faith.

"City workers are vital to the function of services for millions of Angelenos every day and to our local economy," Bass said in a statement issued Saturday morning. "They deserve fair contracts and we have been bargaining in good faith with SEIU 721 since January. The City will always be available to make progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."

Sanitation workers, heavy duty mechanics, traffic officers, engineers and many more city workers, who are represented by SEIU 721, plan to walk off the job to protest city management and other "unfair labor practices restricting employee and union rights," according to a statement from the union on Friday.

Bass is in Washington, D.C. through Monday to meet with senior White House officials.

At 11 a.m. Tuesday, workers will meet at City Hall for a march and rally, though picket lines will begin as early as 4 a.m., according to the union.

In May, city workers represented by SEIU 721 voted overwhelmingly, with 98% approval, to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike -- a first by city workers in more than 40 years.

"(The strike) comes at a watershed moment for the city, with officials preparing for the World Cup and Olympic Games in the coming years," SEIU 721 said in a statement. "Both events promise to have long-lasting impacts on the entire Southern California region, with a massive influx of tourists and athletes putting an enormous strain on the city's frontline services, all on the world stage."

David Green, president and executive director of SEIU 721, told City News Service that 30-plus strike lines are expected Tuesday all across the city.

Green said there would be thousands of people just at City Hall late that morning. "We are going to be throughout the entire city striking to send a message that the city's broken the law. They need to come back to the table, they need to fill these vacancies and they need to listen to the concerns of the public."

He said residents might experience a lack of service Tuesday, whether it's the "folks that pick up their trash, that protect the harbor, work in parks or that secure LAX."