‘Hollywood to the Docks’ March Draws Union Support

Claudia Anaya

Traffic began to stop at La Brea and Wilshire as actors, teachers, postal workers, long shore workers, janitors, and other community members began to march along Wilshire Boulevard.

More than 100 people joined together on April 15 at the La Brea Tar Pits with signs that read: “L.A. Workers: The Fight for Good Jobs.”

Hollywood to the Docks, a three-day march was held in support of more than 350,000 employees in more than 30 unions that will be negotiating their contracts this year.

Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary treasurer of L.A. County Federation of Labor, who had spoken of the event on April 3 at GCC, introduced various speakers and marchers at the rally before the march.

Angie Thompson, a Los Angeles county probation officer for 25 years, believes that kids are in jails because parents have “three lousy jobs and are being denied one good one.we need to stand together to form better communities and maintain the middle class.”

Jose Torres, one of the car washers from Vermont Car Wash spoke to the audience and said [he] “wants to change the conditions in the industry and ask for better wages.”

“Si se Puede, Yes We Can,” continued to be chanted by participants in the rally.

We “stand united in the fight for good and decent jobs,” said Esai Morales, actor and member of the Screen Actor’s Guild board.
More than 87 people had signed up for the march and more than 60 joined them to march along Wilshire Boulevard.

The International Longshore Workers drill team from San Francisco led the march in white hats, a tradition since 1934, when San Francisco longshore workers went on strike.

Marchers with megaphones spoke about the purpose of the march to people in cars on the opposite side of the street that were stopped at traffic.

“It’s to keep the wages we have now”, said Julieta Alvarado, member of the Institute Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA- Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California).

Other groups of the marchers echo chanted “People want to know, who we are, so we tell them, we are the unions, the mighty, mighty unions.”

“Contracts are expiring this year, and we’re showing that unions are sticking together and supporting each other,” said a member from the Screen Actors Guild.

The march continued with various stops where rallies were held.

A janitors rally, construction workers rally, housing coalition rally, and a budget rally continued at different stops on April 15 with over 20 new participants at each stop.

On April 16 the march continued with more than 100 marchers and a community rally to bring good jobs to south Los Angeles and rest stops at Helen Keller Park and Rosecrans Playground before the rally at Wal-Mart on 19503 S. Normandie Ave. in Torrance where marchers shouted “Don’t shop at Wal-Mart!”

On the third day, a rally focusing on healthcare ended at the port of Los Angeles in San Pedro where additional longshore workers gathered in support.