Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the Dakota Access pipeline protests or news about this unprecedented US presidential election—and our coverage is never paid for by the oil and gas companies or the campaigns and superPACs. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on your support. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $8 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

The Growing Power of Latinos and Labor in Los Angeles

August 14, 2000
Story
WATCH FULL SHOW

There was an interesting article in Sunday’s LA Times. It said "Less than a generation ago, Southern California unions were dominated by white building trade unions—carpenters, plumbers and the like. Today, they are mainly service industry groups, populated by the city’s working class Latinos, first- and second-generation immigrants from Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and beyond. They are more political than their predecessors, more liberal, more aggressive and more effective.

Next year, labor will help elect a mayor, a city attorney, a city controller and six members of the City Council. If recent history is any guide, labor will win more of those races than it loses. More viscerally, labor also increasingly displays its power in the streets."

And it goes on from there to talk about the janitors strike here last spring that captured national attention and won wage hikes for some of the city’s working poor. Less renowned but no less effective have been the dogged efforts to expand living-wage laws from the city to the county to the airport. Security guards and baggage handlers at Los Angeles International Airport, once forced to work for poverty wages, got salary bumps in recent years because of the dogged influence of Los Angeles labor activists."

The article concludes, "time and again, labor in Los Angeles is winning."

Guest:

  • Gil Sedillo, was the head of the SEIU local 660, largest public sector union representing 42000 Los Angeles county workers, nurses, clerical, welfare workers, hospital workers and librarians. He is also a Los Angeles State Representative.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.