LOS ANGELES - More than 11,000 Los Angeles city workers are getting ready for a one-day walkout Tuesday, to protest what their union calls bad-faith contract talks. But workers have been preparing for this strike for days.
Back on Saturday July 30, several hundred members of SEIU Local 721 practiced marching and rallying in a picket line. David Green is the president of SEIU Local 721. He says, "We're expecting the first strike in the City of Los Angeles in more than 40 years." Green is calling the one-day action "an unfair labor practice strike across the entire city of Los Angeles. Everywhere from Los Angeles Airport, City Hall, [to] Griffith Observatory, with thousands and thousands of city workers."
With support from WGA, SAG-AFTRA and striking hotel workers, Green expects 11,000 picketers in an effort to get placard signs in front of as many eyeballs as possible.
Monday, ahead of the strike, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said, "The City of Los Angeles is not going to shut down. My office is implementing a plan ensuring no public safety or housing and homelessness emergency operations are impacted by this action. Like I said over the weekend, the City will always be available to make progress with SEIU 721 and we will continue bargaining in good faith."
WHen asked if Mayor Bass would agree to meet with the union, Green said he'd want to meet with her "as soon as possible," but, he blames middle management supervisors for the problems in negotiation that drove the union to file an unfair labor practice.
"It's going to take those folks, those administrators, to come to the table to hash it out," Green said.
Here are some of the places across the city that will be impacted by Tuesday's strike:
- Lifeguards at LA Public Swimming Pools are union members. Pools may or may not be open. Check ahead.
- Safety officers at LAX are union members. They are not sworn officers. LAX has an unrelated airport police department. But, airport officials are asking passengers flying Tuesday, "to allow extra time to travel to and from the airport during the planned action."
- Sanitation workers are union members. The city says there will be no garbage pickup Tuesday but there will be Wednesday.
- LA Animal shelters will be closed to the public because certain animal service workers are union members. But Shelters will be open for emergency services including sick and injured animals as well as animals that may pose public safety risks.
- Those who fix potholes are union members. They'll be striking.
- Traffic Enforcement officers are those who write parking tickets. They are union members.
- 311 will be operational but wait times may be longer.
Also, LAPD and LA City Fire will be operating normally. Meanwhile, Green says if there are any emergencies, they will take priority.
"If there's something that affects residents in the city of LA's health and safety we've got a system called a 'line pass' where we're making sure if there are vital services needed, we're not compromising urgent immediate needs, emergency needs."
The picketers begin striking at 4 a.m. at Tom Bradley Terminal at LAX; at 5 a.m., a picket line will be set up at LA City Hall; at 8:30 a.m. there will be a car caravan from LAX to LA City Hall; and, at 11 a.m. there will be a mass rally outside City Hall. The union is expecting about 11,000 people to rally downtown.