In a sweeping demand for better wages and against purported unfair labor practices, over 11,000 city employees, including sanitation workers, traffic officers, and lifeguards, launched a 24-hour Los Angeles workers strike. The walkout began Tuesday, with SEIU Local 721 accusing the city of not bargaining in good faith and infringing on workers’ rights.
Picket lines emerged at Los Angeles International Airport and various other locations, climaxing in a significant demonstration at City Hall. Strikers highlighted that wages are so low that many can’t afford to reside in LA, pushing them into lengthy commutes. Destiny Webb, a city pool manager, and college student emphasized that the city’s remuneration doesn’t keep up with inflation, making living unfeasible for many young employees.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass responded, expressing that city workers are integral to the city’s operations and deserve just contracts. The Mayor reiterated her commitment to continued negotiations with the union.
This strike isn’t the first to rock the nation’s second-largest city. Various sectors, from Hollywood writers and actors to hotel workers and school staff, have participated in similar protests recently. City services have been moderately disrupted due to the strike, with impacts on parking enforcement, traffic operations, and trash pickups.
However, amid these turbulent times, there are voices of solidarity. Television writer Mike Royce stood with the strikers, drawing parallels between the demands of Hollywood writers and city employees.