LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Hundreds of unionized Los Angeles County workers rallied and marched through downtown today, pushing for a new labor contract with improved wages and job protection.
Leaders of the Service Employees International Union Local 721 called the rally the largest mobilization in its history.
The union's current labor contract with the county expires at midnight. Union workers rallied near Grand Park downtown then marched through downtown, saying they are ready to strike if needed.
County officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The workers are calling for protections against outsourcing and privatization of union jobs, guaranteed health benefits, additional support for child and elder care, wages that increase with inflation and the cost of living in the Los Angeles area, according to the union.
SEIU 721 officials said workers demonstrating in downtown Los Angeles Thursday included those in health care, library administration, public works, social services, homelessness outreach, public safety, custodial services and more.
``We need every single SEIU 721 member to stay ready and be willing to fight. I am not going to sugarcoat it brothers and sisters: This is shaping up to be one of the biggest contract fights in LA County history,'' said David Green, SEIU 721's president.