Thousands Of LA County Employees Walk Off Jobs Over Wage Increase
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Approximately 2,000 Los Angeles County employees walked off their jobs Tuesday as they demand higher wages.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reported employees, whose current contract expired at midnight Monday, said they have gone nearly five years without a pay increase.
“For months, county management has been unresponsive at the bargaining table. County workers are sick and tired of hearing, ‘No, no, no’ when making proposals that benefit working people throughout L.A. County,” SEIU Local 721 officials said.
L.A. County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka said a proposal on the table currently offers a two percent wage increase this month, two percent in Oct. 2014 and another two percent in April 2015.
He said 30 of the 60 unions that represent county workers have accepted the contracts.
“We have settled contracts with over half of our employee unions. And the contract we are offering the SEIU is the same contract that half of our unions have already agreed to,” said Fujioka.
Union members are also pressing for a stronger ride-share program to reduce traffic and would like to close a loophole they said allows corporations to avoid paying property taxes.
Union reps stressed the walk-off, which is unrelated to the federal government shutdown, was not a strike and that workers would return to their jobs Wednesday.
A 9 a.m. rally by workers started at 350 S. Grand Ave. It ended at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration at 500 W. Temple Street around noon.
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