Hundreds of Los Angeles Workers and Allies Protest Efforts by Billionaires, CEOs to Use Supreme Court to Further Rig the System Against Working Families
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 26, 2018
Contact: Coral Itzcalli, SEIU Local 721, (213) 321-7332
Gabriella Landeros, LA County Federation of Labor, 323-406-3270
In an Unprecedented Show of Force, Workers, Community Supporters, and Elected Officials Rallied at LAC+USC Medical Center Today, Pledging to Stick Together in Unions and Vowing to Fight Back Against Anti-Worker Legislation at All Levels Regardless of Janus v. AFSCME Decision
Los Angeles – As the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments today in the case of Janus v. AFSCME, hundreds of union workers and community allies rallied at LAC+USC Medical Center in Boyle Heights to send a clear message that they will remain united despite any Supreme Court decision. The women and men who keep our LA communities clean, healthy, and functioning – from nurses to sanitation workers – joined together in an unparalleled show of solidarity to speak out against the anti-worker billionaires behind the Janus case, and vowed to fight for the good union jobs our communities need now more than ever.
“No matter what happens, we choose union and nothing will stop us,” said SEIU Local 721 member Valencia Garner, a nurse at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in downtown Los Angeles. “We will not allow the wealthiest of the wealthy to buy their way into the Supreme Court so they can turn back the clock on American workers. Make no mistake – the goal of greedy corporations is to treat all working people however they want with no consequences, and union workers are the only thing stopping them. An attack on unions is an attack on all American workers, and we will not let the ultra-rich steal the American Dream.”
“Do not underestimate our solidarity or our resolve,” said AFSCME District Council 36 member Donn Uyeno, a city engineer in West Hollywood. “We will fight with everything we’ve got to make sure the ultra-wealthy never again have free reign to abuse and exploit American workers, union or not. No court case will hold us back.”
“Unions built American middle class and, to this day, unions power the American Dream,” said Karla Griego, a special education teacher and member of United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA). “We know our worth and we’re proud to be union. This court case is just the latest attempt by anti-worker forces to weaken our power. But the Labor Movement has been under attack since Day One. They can try to drive down wages, take away benefits, and eliminate our rights at the workplace,but they will fail. We’re here to stay and we’re union strong.”
“In every state in America where so-called the ‘Right-to-Work’ is the law of the land, poverty rates are higher and communities simply suffer more,” said Martha Arévalo, Executive Director of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN). “For many years, we’ve worked successfully with our partners in the Labor Movement to raise living standards for all workers – and we will not stand idly by while greedy corporations attempt to undo our progress.”
“Moments like this in American history test our values and our resolve,” said Pastor William Smart of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). “How firmly we truly believe in the principles of fairness, equality, and dignity will be determined by how we react to the upcoming Supreme Court decision on the Janus case. But that’s why I’m so optimistic: The outcome isn’t even known – and yet, already, so many of us are standing in solidarity with unions today and into the future.”
“Unions have been instrumental in ensuring that working people have a voice in the halls of power and a fair shot at the American Dream,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “Attempts to silence organized labor must fail. The history of the American Labor Movement is full of inspiration, with example after example of difficult odds overcome by the determination of workers who knew they were on the right side of history. I have been proud to stand with working families throughout my career in public service, including as Secretary of Labor under President Obama, and I am proud to stand and march with them today.”
Working people and their allies pledged to stick together regardless of the decision in the Supreme Court case and fight for even more good, union jobs that can provide financial security for families, strengthen our communities, and boost the economy.