Organizing Los Angeles Workers, 1980-Present

About this Collection

In the last two decades of the 20th century, labor unions in Los Angeles defied a national trend of decline for the labor movement. Led by a new generation of leaders who drew inspiration from social movements of the 1960s, the L.A. labor movement grew by organizing immigrant, Latino, and African American workers in the service economy. In a series of high profile strikes, unions took on the power of transnational corporations and, more often than not, they won. Buoyed by these victories, the L.A. County Federation of Labor then helped to reshape electoral politics in California by mobilizing working-class voters. Items in this collection are drawn from the records of the United Service Workers West/SEIU (Justice for Janitors), the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), UNITE HERE Local 11, and the records of the UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

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