Dozens arrested at Labor Day demonstration

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Police arrested 31 supporters of Kaiser Permanente workers for failure to disperse as they blocked an intersection near its Los Angeles Medical Center today in a Labor Day act of civil disobedience, authorities said Monday.

The demonstration was long-expected, with United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero among those arrested, according to Jacob Hay, one of the rally and march’s organizers.

Demonstrators for Kaiser Permanente workers were also arrested Monday in Sacramento, and in Portland, Oregon last month.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles, attended a 10 a.m. rally at Los Angeles City College that preceded the march to the East Hollywood medical center.

“I think of it as a rally, I think of it as a moment where we are celebrating the leadership of organized labor that brought all of us whether you’re a member of the union or not, better conditions, better wages, better, benefits,” Harris told reporters.

Kaiser Permanente workers across the state have voted overwhelmingly to authorize their union to call a strike if a labor contract cannot be reached.

Hay said The Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is seeking a new contract that would:

  • “Restore a true worker-management partnership, and have Kaiser bargain in good faith;”
  • “Ensure safe staffing and compassionate use of technology”;
  • “Build the workforce of the future to deal with major projected shortages of licensed and accredited staff in the coming years”; and
  • “Protect middle-class jobs with wages and benefits that can support families.”

This article contains reporting from City News Service.

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