LA Labor calls for workers’ and immigrants’ rights ahead of MayDay

05/09/2019

For Immediate Release

April 17th, 2019

Contact: Andrew Cohen (818) 419-0064, almcohen@gmail.com

LA Labor calls for workers’ and immigrants’ rights ahead of May

Day

Over 300 labor unions in LA County announce plans to focus on defending

workers and immigrants for this year’s celebration of International Workers

Day

Los Angeles, CA–Union leaders from across Los Angeles County came together for a

press conference announcing the role of labor in this year’s May Day march planned for

Downtown LA on May 1st.

The theme of the march is “LA People’s Power/LA Poder del Pueblo”, which calls out the

ongoing attacks of the Trump administration on immigrants and workers.

“The original May Day was an international worker’s celebration more than 130 years

ago,” said Rusty Hicks, President of the Los Angeles Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Our

nation’s leaders tried to use lies and fear about immigrants to pit working people against

one another. They didn’t divide us then. We won’t let them do it now. This May Day, we

march to show that we are always stronger standing together and fighting back.”

“On May Day, I march because I am a member of a community that sees work, and the

chance to find better work, as a human right,” said Angelica Salas, Executive Director at

the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA). “No one should be persecuted for

working to support their family, or for pursuing those better opportunities. No one should

be treated as a criminal for seeking the work that feeds their children, no matter where

that work is.”

“On May Day, all of us workers and our communities in the City of Los Angeles should

come together and march to show the power of the workers and to show the power of

the people standing together because only standing together we can win,” said grocery

worker and UFCW Local 770 member DeAndre Williams.

“May Day is a special day for the Garment Worker Center, as its history is steeped in

the organizing struggles of 19th century textile workers. Each year, and this May Day,

we march to honor workers around the world. We march to connect the present day

fights for just wages, dignified working conditions and an active voice in the workplace

for the 45,000 garment workers in Los Angeles to the workers rights movement built by

workers and their families!” Marissa Nuncio, Director of the Garment Worker Center.

“My colleagues and I live paycheck to paycheck,” said Evelyn Campos, a fast food

worker and a leader in the #FightFor15. “Sometimes we don’t get paid, and none of us

get the benefits that we deserve. We’re marching not just for higher wages but for

respect and better working conditions-with the determination to never give up in our

fight for ourselves, for our families, and for future generations.”

“I dream of a country where young people like myself can come looking for refuge and

this country will give us a place to grow and thrive,” said Yamilex Rustrian of SEIUUSWW.

“Our fight doesn’t end on May Day. We have to keep getting out the vote. We

have to pass AB547 in Sacramento so immigrant women and all of us can stop sexual

harassment in the workplace.”

“We are the ones on the front lines of the fight for higher standards in our professions,”

said Monique Hernandez from SEIU 121RN, which is sponsoring the Repeat Offender bill,

SB227, to prevent hospitals from endangering patient safety. “We are fighting for

standards of care in the hospitals we work in. We leverage our power to protect

patients and protect nurses from hospitals that prioritize profit over safety and health.

This is the year our movement will bring much-needed change to an industry that will

not change on its own.”

Speaking of the importance of the May Day march to building strong coalitions, Robert

Hernandez of the L.A. Black Workers Center said, “It would be just like Dr. Martin Luther

King and the movement. As well as Cesar Chavez and the movement he led.”

Photos from the event can be found online under the hashtags #LAPoderDelPueblo and

#LAPeoplesPower.

Labor unions, immigrant rights organizations, and civil society are coordinating the

traditional march and rally held on May Day, International Workers’ Day. The march will

commence on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 starting at 3 p.m., from the corner of 6th

Street and Park View.

The May Day Coalition promotes the following issues throughout the one-mile route:

1. Celebrate worker victories and uphold their right to unionize

2. Everyone must be counted in the Census 2020

3. Earning a living is a human right

4. End all forms of immigrant persecution

5. Voting rights for all in municipal elections

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