The exterior of the multi-story Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center building
Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. Photo by Ted Eytan/CC-BY-SA-2.0, via Flickr.

Labor Day will be marked in Los Angeles Monday by a rally and march in East Hollywood in support of Kaiser Permanente workers and parade in Wilmington.

The 30-minute rally will begin at 10 a.m. at Los Angeles City College. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, is set to attend, an aide said.

The rally will be followed by a march to Kaiser Permanente’s Los Angeles Medical Center.

Nearly 50 march participants are expected to engage in civil disobedience by blocking an intersection near the medical center, including United Farm Workers President Teresa Romero, according to Jacob Hay, one of the rally and march’s organizers.

Similar Labor Day protests by Kaiser Permanente workers are planned for Oakland, Sacramento and Portland, Oregon.

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.”

Arlene Peasnall, Kaiser Permanente’s senior vice president, human resources, said “Kaiser Permanente has a long and productive history with organized labor.”

“Our efforts to involve our workforce in decision-making and create an environment of continuous learning and improvement over the past 70-plus years have set the bar for how labor and management can work together,” Peasnall said.

“Just last fall, we successfully negotiated a contract with the Alliance of Health Care Unions that established a strong partnership that improves our working environment and rewards our employees with highly competitive wages, benefits and advancement programs.”

Between 8,000 to 10,000 people are expected to participate in Monday’s 40th Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition Parade, Larry Barragan, the coalition’s chairman, told City News Service.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at the intersection of Broad Avenue and E Street, go west on E Street to Avalon Boulevard, continue north on Avalon Boulevard to M Street, concluding at Banning Park. Bands from Banning, Carson, Garfield, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, Venice and Verdugo Hills high schools and Harry Bridges Middle School are set to perform in the parade.

A rally and picnic is set to begin at 11 a.m. at Banning Park. Speeches and introduction of elected officials is scheduled to begin at noon. Speakers include Rusty Hicks, chair of the California Democratic Party, a former president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Monday is Union Day at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona, including a parade at noon. Admission will be discounted to $8 for union members and their families. More information is available at union halls.

In his Labor Day proclamation, President Donald Trump wrote, “On Labor Day, we recognize the remarkable American workers who comprise the greatest labor force in the world. American workers are the heart and soul of our nation’s economic resurgence.

“Today, we honor those Americans whose contributions have turned our country into an economic powerhouse and we renew our commitment to create an environment that continues to foster and promote opportunity.”

Labor Day, a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the nation, was first celebrated in the U.S. on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City.

In 1887, Oregon became the first state to formally recognize Labor Day. By 1894, 31 of the then-44 states had made Labor Day a holiday when Congress passed a bill designating the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and territories.

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