LOS ANGELES (AP) — Thousands of union leaders and workers marched through the streets of downtown Los Angeles, vowing and shouting that they would fight for organized labor in California after recent union setbacks in Wisconsin.

KNX 1070’s Bill Cooper Reports

Police estimated that between 5,000 and 8,000 people attended the Saturday protest that ended with a rally at Pershing Square.

The Los Angeles Times says speakers at the rally included Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa, Maria Elena Durazo from the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and Fire Fighters of Wisconsin President Mahlon Mitchell.

Mahlon shouted at the rally that the battle in Wisconsin is a “direct attack” on all unions and the entire American middle class.

He warned that similar policies could be instituted in cash-strapped California.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (27)
  1. jerome riggs says:

    Did taxpayers pay for the school buses that brought them to the demonstration?

    1. Dawn Bledsoe says:

      No, the Union paid for the chartered the buses and paid for fuel, the drivers are Union members as well

      1. Dawn Bledsoe says:

        Also the buses are owned by a private company, no local governments own the buses. My husband is a Teamster and we were there today

      2. Randy says:

        I have been a bus driver for 31 years, yes those are privately own school bus with non union bus drivers making about 10 to 11 dollars an hour. When I am an union member making over 20 dollars an hour…why are they making half of what I am making doing the same job? The reason why the union chartered the non union buses is because they are cheaper then a union bus such as a transit authority such as MTA, City of Commerce, Santa Monica which do charter buses.

      3. Saber 1 says:

        Nother worthless leach. Teamsters and LongShoreman. Worthless and a waste of skin and air.

  2. Clara says:

    um, yes, but the unions get their money from taxpayers, hence the taxpayers actually paid.

    1. helen meager says:

      No the unions get their money from members who earn their pay.

      1. MB man says:

        Public sector union workers get paid by taxpayers. Union dues are paid by t taxpayers. Union benefits are paid by tax payers. All forms of compensation provided to public sector workers originate from the tax payer. The sad truth is many of those that receive tax payer funds (ie the public sector worker) pays very little in taxes. The bottom 80% of earners pay leas than 10% of taxes collected.

      2. Saber 1 says:

        And you need some extortion artist to shake down business owners to giet them jobs, get your own job for a change. Should have stayed in school and found a well paying job for yourself.
        In 2012, your UNIONS will be SOL, cut all Union contracts and let real workers get the job done without milking the job.

  3. tom Long says:

    I am disappointed in your coverage of t he march, following NCAA basketball. You couldn’t just report on the march; you ;had to include a right wing voice commenting on the “greedy” unions. Are you that afraid of the far right?

  4. Dr S Keaton says:

    The unions got there money from members dues not taxpayers OH WAIT union members are taxpayers!!!!

  5. Julie says:

    I’m an attorney now but once upon a time I use to work for Hertz rent a car (which is represented by Teamsters) and they force all of their employees to join Teamsters and pay monthly dues. Key word there is forced which is totally anti-democratic. The union reps usually came to the work site every few months in their new $30K plus cars (which I believe were paid mostly with the union dues) to give us magnets, calenders, pins etc. Point being, any employee is able to protect themselves from wrongful acts by the employer without being in any union. Workers don’t get better wages nor benefits with unions. Every time I’m out driving and see a vehicle with a bumper sticker stating “Work Union Live Better” I start laughing so hard…lol…and of course the person behind the wheel is a minority.

    1. Shelley Goodman says:

      It’s obvious you didn’t learn a whole lot about life in college! First of all I can tell you are a racist by your last comment! Who looks at a damn bumper sticker and then who is behind the wheel? Secondly, if you had taken a labor class in college you would have learned that Union workers make at anywhere from $2 to $5 more per hr than non-union workers. The Teamster Reps who did come to your job site every few months meant the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Hertz and Teamsters was working well and with very little problems! And if you had been working at another rental agency you would have been paid less and without the right to a grievance process! You better go back to college because it is evident that you didn’t learn much!

  6. Deane frankenberger says:

    im local 44, and it costs me 200 dollars a day to work, and live pay check to pay check. this isnt living. its 12 hours of hard labor to pay for those popping out kids and feeding off the system. i dont understand how our government can take my money then charge me interest on money that i earned at a rate higher than ant savings account would pay out. I cant even save 2000 a year, and gas im paying to go to work to make them money. i dont go any where after work cause it cost me 100 plus to do anything within a 20 mile radius.

  7. Onclewillie says:

    SEIU and all the others are little more than thieves in the night. The battle in Wisconsin has nothing to do with collective bargaining in the private sector. Ironic that most of the power enjoyed by SEIU and its cohorts comes from public sector workers. The public sector worker dues are used as a massive slush fund to manipulate the electorate through massive mailings, phone banks and all the tricks of the con man to elect candidates friendly to the unions. This further empowers the public service union who have even more power and money to dispense for favors. On Wisconsin. We should be so lucky in the People’s Republic of California.

    1. Kristine says:

      Union dues are not used for politics! Wow so much ignoance of real truth.

  8. Robert S. says:

    Don’t like 9-dollar an hour jobs, then move to Texas and start your new job at 7.25 an hour. Think about how hard it is to live in Texas and work two jobs, and still not be able to make ends meet!

  9. Robert S. says:

    I know what Julie is talking about, as unions ripped me off for years. Had no job protection, and always had to pay the union in order to keep my job, but lost it anyway, because of office politics. Yes, I said office politics, so I have been there and seen that!

  10. Robert S. says:

    People are “spoiled in this day and time. Back when I was a kid in the sixties, we had to work for !.60 an hour. It took me many months before I could afford a $400.00 reel to reel tape recorder for broadcasting practice. Today, everybody wants things now with no waiting ,or really working for it! Things in this country a lot of people just don’t understand! Lots of people just think they are owed these things, and this just does’t fly!

    1. Gus Glover says:

      And back in 1975, I worked for $1.25 in order to pay for my tuition of $200 per semester at college. Gas prices were about 30 cents a gallon, and houses in the Valley were going for maybe $40,000. This is 2011. We don’t need to hear how much better (or worse) things were when you were young. People today need an opportunity to earn their money without hearkening back to the Golden Age. I work for the public sector, I am a member of a Union, and I pay taxes, save for my retirement, work hard, and don’t need to constantly hear how lazy and stupid I am.

  11. don local 11 ibew says:

    I was there,and will continue to be there. Next time with my grandkids!

    1. Saber 1 says:

      What a moron. Teach the next generation how to extort something you should be working for. Get off the UNION bandwagon and stand on your own two feet.

  12. drozone69 says:

    I wish I were back in the union were we worked 4-5 hours a day and got paid for 8.Most of the crew went off and smoked and drinked at lunchtime (1 hr paid).Most of the guys are foriegn born and accented as well.

  13. No More Unions says:

    These are the lazy burdens of our country who continue to plague our economy. They always want more money for little or no work. The post office is perfect example. I went to the post office not by choice but because I had to pick up certified mail in person and there were 4 people in line ahead of me with 2 postal workers at the register. It took them 45 minutes to help the 4 in front of me who each had only one package or letter to send. Sadly these union protected dirt bags will continue to receive 70% of their pay once they retire for the rest of their lives paid for by our tax dollars.

  14. Helen Meager says:

    On a blog: A public union employee, a tea party activist, and a CEO are sitting at a table with a plate of a dozen cookies in the middle of it. The CEO takes 11 of the cookies, turns to the tea partier and says, ‘Watch out for that union guy. He wants a piece of your cookie.”

  15. D Rod says:

    Why is it that the real middle class works making 50k a year till they are seventy to pay for public unions that work till 50 and retire with more than 50% of their pay? Who is across the bargaining table from the public unions? A politician who is backed by the powerful unions.

    The unions are getting rich off of our taxes. If you vet rid of the unions, there will still be hundreds, if not thousands of people lining up for those jobs. Keep drinking the Kool-aid, it will eventually bankrupt our state, and nation.

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