L.A. County Workers March, Demand Fair Bargain

Armenian L.A. County employees took part in the demonstrations

LOS ANGELES— On Tuesday, October 1, over 5,000 Los Angeles County employees, of whom more then 400 are of Armenian descent, walked off their jobs, gathered at the California Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, and marched to the L.A. County Hall of Administration, demanding serious negotiations from county management.

“County management continues to reject our proposals,” said Department of Social Services – In-Home Supportive Services employee and bargaining team member of unit 711, Silva Kechichian, “to lift the living wage, reduce caseloads and workloads for social workers, gains workers, senior community workers, appeals hearing specialist, provide ride-sharing subsidies, and close loopholes that allow corporations to avoid paying  property taxes.”

L.A. County members’ current contract expired at midnight Monday, September 30. The County of Los Angeles has been unresponsive at the bargaining table. County workers are demanding that the county return to the table and bargain in good faith for the benefit of LA County’s residents.

Following the public demonstration, County CEO Bill Fujioka agreed to personally help push forward the negotiations.

“We are going back to the bargaining table on Thursday, October 6,” said Kechichian. “We should be concentrating on providing excellent services to our communities and that is why we want our contract settled A.S.A.P.”

State Employees’ International Union (SEIU) Local 721 is the entity that represents Los Angeles county and city employees. “We demand only respect so working families’ rights are protected and that they can retire with dignity,” SEIU Union Representative Shoushan Kevranian Baghboudarian says.

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