More than 11,000 city workers in LA are expected to participate. The Service Employees International Union [SEIU] Local 721, which represents nearly 100,000 workers across Southern California, including sanitation and water treatment workers, heavy-duty mechanics, traffic officers and engineers, acts as the main organizer of the strike.
SEIU Local 721 claimed that its employees are staging an unfair labor practices strike because city authorities are not bargaining with the union in good faith and are also engaging in practices that restrict employee and union rights.
The union previously ratified a one-year agreement with the city in November 2022 with the understanding that, after the winter holidays, union and city officials would come back to the bargaining table. SEIU Local 721 Chief of Staff Gilda Valdez noted that the union has already reached agreements with city officials over a number of issues, and all that's left is for agreements to be reached over a number of smaller specific proposals. But Valdez noted that the city has "reneged on their promise to negotiate on these issues."
"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 Los Angeles Employee Relations Board," claimed SEIU Local 721 officials in a statement.
Local 721 officials also noted that the strike comes "at a watershed moment for the city," as city authorities prepare for the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the 2028 Summer Olympics, which are expected to bring in millions of additional revenue from the influx of tourists and could put "an enormous strain on the city's frontline services" all for the world to see.
The work stoppage in the city comes amid a recent surge in organized labor activity and agitation across the country, especially in Los Angeles. The city is currently dealing with its first simultaneous strike of Hollywood writers and actors since 1960. (Related: Hollywood studios go on hiring sprees for AI specialists amid ongoing actors' and writers' strike.)
In Los Angeles and Orange counties, hotel workers represented by Unite HERE [Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union] Local 11 are also engaging in intermittent work stoppages due to stalled contract negotiations for more than 15,000 hotel workers at some 60 properties.
Before this, dockworkers at all 29 ports on the West Coast were able to reach a tentative agreement over a new six-year contract that includes significant wage increases. LA school district support staff were also able to negotiate a wage increase and a cash bonus following a three-day strike.
The strike is expected to cause significant disruptions in parts of the city, especially as SEIU Local 721 plans to picket for 24 hours outside very public locations, including City Hall, the Los Angeles International Airport and the Port of Los Angeles. At least a dozen sites, including tourist destinations like the Griffith Observatory, are also expected to host pickets.
Local 721 leadership claimed that its membership in the city includes custodians, mechanics, shuttle drivers, at least a thousand LAX workers and about 300 Port of LA workers.
Union officials made it known that their members will meet at 11 a.m. Tuesday at City Hall for a march and a rally. But the picket lines are expected to come up as early as 4 a.m. all over the city.
"City workers are vital to the function of services for millions of Angelenos every day and to our local economy. They deserve fair contracts and we have been bargaining in good faith with SEIU 721 since January," claimed LA Mayor Karen Bass in a statement on Friday, Aug. 4. "The City will always be available to make progress 24 hours a day, seven days a week."
SEIU Local 721 could be joined by the striking hotel workers of Unite HERE Local 11, who have also recently filed an Unfair Labor Practice charge against the county's hotel industry bargaining group. Unite HERE Local 11 is made up of thousands of cooks, maids, dishwashers, servers, bellmen and front-desk agents at 46 LA metro area hotels who are demanding higher wages and improved benefits and working conditions.
This is also in addition to the thousands of Hollywood actors' and writers' who have been manning picket lines in front of studio offices almost 24 hours a day every day for months.
"We are not going to tolerate unfair labor practices during bargaining or at all. We're fed up," said Valdez. "We have to send a very strong message to the city."
Learn more about the latest events in the so-called Golden State at CaliforniaCollapse.news.
Watch this clip from Fox News discussing the possibility that the 340,000 UPS workers affiliated with the Teamsters may go on strike.