From the Port of L.A. to the northern end of the San Fernando Valley, WE SHUT IT DOWN.
When the clock struck 12:01 AM on August 8th, we ushered in the day with Operation Big Bang Battle (BBB), a ULP strike. Thousands of us walked off the job for 24 hours and hit the picket lines throughout the City.
We walked off the job because we’re tired of the empty promises, we’re tired of the never ending understaffing and unfulfilled vacancies, we’re tired of City’s law-breaking, and we’re fed up with City management’s disrespect.
As our union Vice President and LASAN worker Simboa Wright has said it repeatedly during this fight, “LA City workers always hold it down” — we did it throughout the pandemic and never stopped.
Yesterday, we showed our City leaders and management just a taste of what we’re capable of. We’ve kept the City going and we can also bring it to a halt.
From Good Morning America to ¡Despierta America!, our 24-hr ULP strike made national and international news.
Angelenos woke up to barrage of news coverage telling the stories of delayed trash pick-ups, closed swimming pools, and chaos at the world’s 4th busiest airport.
While the LAX action beamed across the live local and national news segments throughout the morning, centralized ULP strike picket lines went up at multiple worksites across the City, including the iconic Griffith Observatory, the Port of Los Angeles, multiple yards across the City, and on the steps of LA City Hall.
The biggest bang from Operation BBB took place on LA City Hall steps, where thousands of us descended onto Spring Street to flex our union power.
Despite the sweltering summer sun, we mobilized for a steady and boisterous ULP strike picket line that everybody in City Hall and the Civic Center heard.
We had members of every stripe, and uniformed in a myriad of colors, standing union strong in our fight for the City’s respect.
From our lifeguards to our LASAN workers, we all stood in solidarity and were joined by other Coalition of LA City Union members, Writers Guild of America West (WGAW) members, Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) members, SEIU Local 99 members, SEIU-USWW members, UNITE HERE! Local 11 members, and the LA County Federation of Labor.
We held a loud rally where our union President David Green brought the house down with his fiery speech and pledged his unrelenting support to continue fighting for what we deserve. Other speakers included our union Vice President Simboa Wright, Chief of Staff Gilda Valdez, Deputy Chief of Staff Raymond Meza, LAX worker and Executive Board Member Joe Martinez, SEIU Local 99 Executive Director Max Arias, and LA County Federation of Labor President Yvonne Wheeler.
Our rally ended with a powerful march around City Hall that sent a clear message: City workers will do whatever it takes to get the respect that we deserve.
By no means is this fight over, it’s only going to rev up as we kick off our contract negotiations with the FIX LA Alliance for our successor contract.
While we hit the ULP strike picket lines and marched, our union, along with the Coalition of LA City Unions, sent a letter to the City’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Matt Szabo formally submitting our request to begin negotiations.
We warned the City of Operation BBB and we delivered. Today we rest, but stand tall and proud that we executed the first LA City strike in over 40 years.
As always, when we fight, we win!
Stay tuned for more — see below for some of the news headlines.
SEIU 721, which represents more than 95,000 workers in Southern California, said members voted to authorize the strike after “repeated labor law violations” by Los Angeles city management. Trash truck operators, LAX shuttle drivers and mechanics, and port boat captains are among the workers planning to strike.
Fox Business (8/7)
The strike, organized by SEIU Local 721, will include more than 11,000 workers in sanitation, mechanics and engineering. The workers are expected to picket in front of city hall and LAX.
KTLA – Los Angeles (8/7)
Striking workers are expected to picket at Los Angeles City Hall and LAX, worker union SEIU Local 721 indicated on Twitter. The workers join hotel workers, Hollywood writers and actors and UPS employees in using strikes, or the threat of one, to negotiate for better wages and benefits from their employers.
Los Angeles Times (8/7)
“The City of Los Angeles is not going to shut down,” Bass said. “My office is implementing a plan ensuring no public safety or housing and homelessness emergency operations are impacted by this action. Like I said over the weekend, the city will always be available to make progress with SEIU 721 and we will continue bargaining in good faith.”
Los Angeles Times – Spanish (8/7)
“Los trabajadores de la ciudad son vitales para la función de los servicios para millones de angelinos todos los días y para nuestra economía local. Se merecen contratos justos y hemos estado negociando de buena fe con SEIU 721 desde enero”, dijo la alcaldesa Karen Bass en un comunicado el viernes por la noche. “La Ciudad siempre estará disponible para avanzar las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana”.
The Hill (8/7)
“#HotLaborSummer lives on,” SEIU Local 721 posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “We’re proud to join writers, actors, and our countless other Union siblings striking for respect in Los Angeles.”
The employees, including sanitation workers, heavy duty mechanics, traffic officers and engineers represented by SEIU Local 721, voted overwhelmingly in May – with 98% approval – to authorize an Unfair Labor Practice strike if negotiations stalled.
Los Angeles magazine (8/7)
“City workers are vital to the function of services for millions of Angelenos every day and to our local economy,” Bass said in a statement. “They deserve fair contracts and we have been bargaining in good faith with SEIU 721 since January. The City will always be available to make progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Fox Los Angeles / City News Service (8/8)
“Despite repeated attempts by city workers to engage management in a fair bargaining process, the city has flat-out refused to honor previous agreements at the bargaining table, prompting workers to file charges alleging unfair labor practices with the city of Los Angeles Employee Relations Board,” SEIU 721 officials said in a statement last week.
Associated Press (8/8)
“City workers are vital to the function of services for millions of Angelenos every day and to our local economy,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said in a statement Monday. “They deserve fair contracts and we have been bargaining in good faith with SEIU 721 since January. The city will always be available to make progress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
Los Angeles Times (8/8)
David Green, the union’s president and executive director, said SEIU members have reached their limit with the number of vacant positions that plague city agencies, forcing workers to take huge amounts of overtime. Tuesday’s strike, he said, will send the message that those workers deserve respect.
“The City of Los Angeles is not going to shut down,” the mayor said. “The city will always be available to make progress with SEIU 721 and we will continue bargaining in good faith.”
Politico California Playbook (8/8)
Sanitation workers, animal services, parks and street workers will stop working for 24 hours, in what SEIU 721’s executive director and president David Green said will “shut down the City of Los Angeles.”
Washington Post (8/8)
“When bosses refuse to listen to demands, workers WILL shut things down!” Mary Kay Henry, SEIU international president, said over Twitter. “Solidarity with over 11,000 Los Angeles city workers who are tired of the lack of respect and are making sure they win a fair, strong contract this year!”
NY Times (8/8)
Thousands of municipal workers in Los Angeles walked off the job for one day on Tuesday to demand that city leaders address widespread staffing shortages that have stretched employees thin.