On May Day in L.A., waste haulers and sorters at American Reclamation were joined by more than 500 Teamsters, union members from across L.A. Labor and community supporters to call on their employer to stop treating workers like garbage and respect its workers’ rights to organize.
Recently announced 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta joined the action. When talking about receiving the Medal of Freedom, Dolores Huerta stated, “Freedom means workers must be free to organize.”
L.A. Labor’s Maria Elena Durazo, President of Teamsters Joint Council 42 Randy Cammack and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 396 Ron Herrera, L.A. City Councilmember and mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, and L.A. Controller and mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel also spoke out in support of the waste workers right outside American Reclamation’s front door.
“Today is about raising the standard of living for all workers,” said Maria Elena Durazo, leader of the Los Angeles labor movement. “No worker deserves to be treated as less than human. Today– is about what kind of country we want to be.”
Ron Herrera, Secretary-Treasurer of the Teamsters Local 396, said, “We’re here to show American Reclamation and the entire City of Los Angeles that we won’t tolerate exploitation of any workers, including an immigrant workforce.”
The May Day protest included the premiere of “Workers are not Garbage” a new video by Brave New Foundation’s Cuentame about the dangerous and even deadly working condition inside Southern California’s waste and recycling industry. NYC-based Outernational played live from their new album “Todos Somos Ilegales/We Are All Illegals.”
Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta
speaks out for waste workers’ rights on May Day.