11,000 city workers stage 24-hour strike in Los Angeles, threatening to cripple services

11,000 city workers stage 24-hour strike in Los Angeles, threatening to cripple services

'Los Angeles is not going to shut down,' says Mayor Karen Bass

By Darren Lyn

HOUSTON, United States (AA) - More than 11,000 Los Angeles city workers launched a 24-hour strike Tuesday to protest what their union calls bad-faith bargaining with government officials on a new service contract.

The one-day work stoppage threatens to cripple the US' second-largest city, threatening to shut down everything from garbage pickup and emergency sewage maintenance to traffic operations and airport services.

"We're on the picket line at LAX to show LA City and all its visitors that we refuse to accept the City's bad faith bargaining efforts and repeated labor law violations," said the Service Employees International Union Local 721 (SEIU 721) in a social media post on X, formerly Twitter, from Los Angeles International Airport.

"We are striking for respect, plain and simple - and if we don't get it we'll shut it down," it said.

SEIU 721 represents thousands of LA city workers, including sanitation employees, mechanics, traffic officers, airport personnel, homeless shelter aides and lifeguards for the city's 55 public swimming pools.

Despite massive demonstrations at public facilities, including Los Angeles City Hall and Los Angeles International Airport, Mayor Karen Bass promised to keep the city functioning during the strike.

"The City of Los Angeles is not going to shut down," Bass said in a statement. "My office is implementing a plan ensuring no public safety or housing and homelessness emergency operations are impacted by this action."

"The city will always be available to make progress with SEIU 721 and we will continue bargaining in good faith," she added.

The 24-hour walkout is the latest in a series of work protests in Los Angeles.

Hollywood writers have been on strike for three months, while fellow actors went on strike three weeks ago. In addition, thousands of hotel workers held a three-day strike in July to protest better wages, benefits and working conditions.

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