Members of a union that represents about 10,000 Los Angeles city workers, including several hundred sanitation employees who failed to report for work this morning, are voting on whether to go on strike, the union confirmed Wednesday.
SEIU Local 721 spokeswoman Coral Itzcalli told City News Service that the union’s membership began voting on a potential walkout on Tuesday night.
The union — which represents sanitation workers, tree-trimmers, street repair crews and others — is in the middle of labor negotiations with city management.
“Workers are extremely frustrated because of the lack of movement at the bargaining table,” she said. “They’re hopeful that the mayor and the City Council will find the courage and leadership to take on Wall Street and avert a work stoppage.”
Itzcalli would not confirm whether the union was involved in the job action in which 60 percent of the city’s 500 sanitation workers failed to show up for work today, leaving a diminished crew to pick up trash.
She said the union “is not condoning what actions workers may be taking.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti criticized the sanitation workers’ action, saying that “the (negotiating) table is the best place to resolve any grievances you have.”
The workers’ job action affected trash pick-up service. Sanitation Bureau Director Enrique Zaldivar asked residents to leave out their trash bins until the end of the day as the remaining drivers may need until about 7 p.m. to complete trash pick-up.
He said it was unclear how long the job action would last.
Scott Mann, a spokesman for the Coalition of L.A. City Unions, which bargains on behalf of the union, said today he was not “not aware of any action,” and if there was, “it’s not coalition-related.”
Sanitation Bureau officials said they intended to collect black solid waste bins today as scheduled and other bins — those that take recyclables and green waste — on Saturday.
The bureau’s contingency plans were worked out to enable the bureau “to continue our operations with minimal inconvenience” today, according to a spokesman for the bureau.
— City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: