On eve of contract expiration, thousands of Los Angeles County workers march to demand improved wages, working conditions

Last Thursday, with their labor contract expiring at midnight, over 2,000 Los Angeles County workers gathered in downtown Los Angeles to protest the county’s new proposed contract that further attacked their wages, working conditions and jobs.

The march and rally, called by Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721, included workers in health care, library administration, public works, social services, homelessness outreach and custodial services.

LA County workers demands higher pay and job protections (Source: SEIU L. 721)

Los Angeles County is the largest urban county in the country with over 10 million residents and residents over 4,000 square miles. It employs 100,000 workers and about 55,000 are in SEIU Local 721. The remaining workers are in a number of other unions.

The cost of living in LA is one of the highest in the country with the median price of a homes at $883,000, making a home unaffordable for most residents. According to the University of Southern California Casden Economics Forecast published in November 2021, LA County has a current average monthly rent of $2,073, with the average rent predicted to rise to $2,325 by 2023.

The exorbitant price of housing helps to explain why the county has nearly 70,000 homeless people, the second highest in the country. The price of gasoline in LA is $6.00 or more per gallon.

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