L.A. Mayor Karen Bass Tries to Calm City on Verge of ‘Shut Down’ by Workers

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass was on hand for the final modular units going onto Oatsie's P
David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass attempted Monday to ease fears that the city will “shut down” on Tuesday when over 11,000 municipal workers, including airport and sanitation workers, go on strike to protest her administration’s bargaining tactics.

“The City of Los Angeles is not going to shut down,” Bass said, as reported by the Los Angeles Times — contradicting Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 721 president David Green, who vowed to do exactly that with the walkout.

As Breitbart News reported Monday, the powerful union is downing tools to protest what it calls a lack of good faith in collective bargaining by the city over new contracts. Municipal workers will join Hollywood writers, Hollywood actors, hotel workers, and a variety of other workers who have launched strikes and labor actions in the city in recent months. The SEIU claims the city is not negotiating fairly because it wants to combine negotiations over future pay with negotiations over many other labor demands.

Mayor Bass, who has been on the job for less than a year, is scrambling to reassure residents that vital services will still be provided. But according to the Times, trash pickup will not happen on Tuesday and will be delayed by one day for the rest of the week; airport security workers will be allowed to report for duty, but other airport workers will not; and there may be delays in the cleanup of homeless encampments. Libraries, preschools, and day care centers will remain open, as will emergency services.

The frustration felt by millions of Los Angeles residents will only be slightly abated by the fact that fewer traffic tickets will be written Tuesday. Animal shelters will not open, and a variety of other public services across the city could also be affected.

The only consolation for Bass is that the strike could be even worse: further north, in San Jose, municipal workers are going on strike for three days next week to protest low wages and poor retirement benefits that, they say, have led to staff shortages.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.