Saturday, April 19, 2008

Union Workers Rally for Contracts

Organized labor rallied on the waterfront Thursday, capping a three-day march from “Hollywood to the Docks” to draw attention to widespread contract negotiations taking place this year.

The negotiations affect more than 350,000 workers in 30 unions, marking the largest number of L.A. workers at the bargaining table in a single year.

More than 80 workers walked 28 miles from Hollywood to San Pedro, beginning with a kickoff rally Tuesday at the La Brea Tar Pits, featuring actor Esai Morales and Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti.

Harbor Area dockworkers in the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are among those up for negotiations. Approximately 20 participated in the march, forming the largest single union contingent.

ILWU vice president Joe Radisich of San Pedro told the rallying workers that the union’s contract campaign would center around three broad principles: “good jobs, safer ports and cleaner air.”

The ILWU’s six-year contract expires on July 1.

The local illustration of solidarity included workers as diverse as janitors, actors, hotel workers and probation officers.

Internationally, Australian maritime workers delivered videotaped messages of support.

Councilwoman Janice Hahn, at podium, and California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, third from left, wearing traditional longshore caps to underscore their pro-worker messages.

California State Assembly Speaker-elect Karen Bass addressed the rally. Assemblyman Warren Furutani is pictured at left, with Assemblywoman Julia Brownley and State Senator Alan Lowenthal at right.

LA labor leader Maria Elena Durazo, at podium, rallied the rank and file.

At center, a janitor used her mop as a prop while workers cheered the speaker.

The fire boat put on a show.

1 comment:

TEAMSTERS Rally - San Pedro, CA - April 17, 2008 said...