Workers Win Historic Protections in Los Angeles

04/29/2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Contact: Christian Castro
Communications Director, Los Angeles County Labor of Federation
(310) 857-9817 | christian@thelafed.org

(Los Angeles, CA) In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles City Council passed the most progressive worker policy to date during the COVID-19 crises helping tens of thousands of hospitality, airport and commercial maintenance workers in the city of Los Angeles.

The Worker Retention and Recall policy allows displaced workers, in two of the hardest-hit industries, to return to their jobs once the economy begins to settle, and the rehiring process begins. Additional retention requirements were included to prevent mass layoffs of workers, who have spent their entire lives building the American Dream, in the event that their place of business is sold to another owner.

“This is a win for not just union members, but for all working families here in Los Angeles,” said Ron Herrera, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. “Today, we restored hope for those who are most downtrodden.  As a movement, we made a statement that even in the thralls of one of the worst health crises in memory, and unprecedented economic instability, we will put people over profit and protect the American Dream that many have fought decades to achieve. I, and the hundreds of thousands of union members across Los Angeles, applaud the bold leadership of City Council President Nury Martinez, Mayor Garcetti, and the entire City Council. The Los Angeles labor movement is proud to have championed this historic legislation, and it serves as a blueprint for other cities to follow.”

“Today, much welcomed news came out of city hall,” said Sonia García, a member of SEIU-USWW and a janitor in Downtown Los Angeles for over 30 years.  “Every day we put our lives on the line for our families and our communities. We are proud of the work we do as essential workers and today it’s clear that the City of Los Angeles has our backs.”

“Having the legal guarantee that workers like myself, who have given decades to hotels like the Chateau Marmont, will be able to return to work after this crisis is over is a great first step,” said Walter Almendarez, a bellman at the Chateau Marmont for 23 years. “But as a father to an 8-month-old baby, I still worry because my employer left me with no ongoing healthcare coverage during a pandemic. I don’t know what I would do if she got sick.”

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO is a federation of over 300 affiliates, representing over 800,000 workers in Los Angeles County from every industry, background, and trade.

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