On Labor Day in Los Feliz, a significant rally and march are set to take place, shedding light on pressing issues faced by healthcare workers. Organizers are drawing attention to the long patient wait times, missed diagnoses, neglect, and persistent understaffing issues in patient care.
A Unified Gathering of Thousands
With expectations of over 4,000 healthcare workers in attendance, the rally is scheduled to kick off at 9 a.m. at Los Feliz Elementary School. Following the rally, participants will march approximately half a mile, joined by members of other unions, to reach the Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center. An act of “civil disobedience” is planned at the medical center around 11 a.m., as confirmed by Renée Saldaña, press secretary for SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West, who is coordinating the event.
Union’s Initiative in Organizing
The rally and march are organized by the union, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West. This event is part of the broader efforts of the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions to negotiate a new contract with the healthcare organization, as the existing one is set to expire on September 30. In response, Kaiser Permanente issued a statement addressing the negotiations and highlighting their recruitment efforts despite the ongoing labor shortage in the healthcare sector.
Kaiser Permanente stated, “We hired over 29,000 new employees in 2022 and are on pace to exceed that substantially in 2023, despite the pandemic-driven labor shortage happening across healthcare.” They emphasized that a significant number of candidates accept their employment offers, well above the industry average.
Celebrating Labor Day in Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County is gearing up for the 44th annual Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition Labor Day Parade & Picnic Rally in Wilmington. The event’s theme, “Union Labor Built the American Dream,” underscores the contributions of unions to the American workforce.
Larry Barragan, the coalition chairman, highlighted the role of labor unions in recent negotiations and strikes, including those of SAG-AFTRA, Writers Guild, and hotel workers. Anticipating a turnout of approximately 5,000-6,000 participants, Barragan called it the “largest West Coast Labor Day solidarity parade.”
Parade Route and Festivities
The parade will commence at 10 a.m., starting from the intersection of Broad Avenue and E Street. It will proceed west on E Street to Avalon Boulevard, then continue north on Avalon Boulevard to M Street, concluding at Banning Park. At noon, a “picnic rally” is scheduled to begin at Banning Park. President Joe Biden recognized the significance of Labor Day in his proclamation, emphasizing the critical role played by the middle class and unions in shaping the United States. He acknowledged the contributions of American workers to the nation’s prosperity, highlighting their work in building infrastructure, shaping cities, and safeguarding communities. Biden’s proclamation also mentioned the transformative impact of organized labor in securing rights such as the 8-hour workday, overtime pay, workplace safety standards, and improved healthcare, pensions, and benefits for workers.
A Historical Overview of Labor Day
Labor Day, originally celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City, has since become an annual national tribute to the dedication and contributions of American workers. The state of Oregon was the first to formally recognize Labor Day in 1887, and by 1894, it became a legal holiday in 31 of the then-44 states, with Congress designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day in the District of Columbia and territories.
In summary, Labor Day in Los Feliz will witness a substantial gathering of healthcare workers advocating for improved patient care. Simultaneously, Los Angeles County will host its annual Labor Day parade and rally to honor the contributions of labor unions and workers to the nation’s progress. President Biden’s proclamation underscores the historical significance of Labor Day and the enduring impact of organized labor on American society.