Long Beach: “God Was On the Side of the Workers Tonight!”

Minister Sheldon Ervin, of Church One, testifying before Long Beach City Council on labor peace.

Minister Sheldon Ervin, of Church One, testifying before Long Beach City Council on labor peace.

Last week, hotel workers won yet another victory in building a city that works for all. The Long Beach Coalition for Good Jobs and a Health Community won the City Council’s support of “successor language” and “labor peace” ordinances last week.
The first piece, “successor language” allows hospitality workers at the Long Beach Airport and Convention Center a grace period when the contractor changes for their workplace. Rather than being thrown into poverty without warning, workers have a chance to demonstrate their knowledge and experience, or, if necessary, seek other employment.
The second piece protects city-owned facilities from the disruption of strikes and boycotts, in return for allowing free and fair organization of Convention Center and Airport workers.
Recently-retired Rev. Jerry Stinson, Father Will Connor, and Minister Sheldon Ervin from the South Bay Committee joined dozens of workers and Long Beach residents at the City Council meeting, with Rev. Stinson speaking passionately about the importance of labor peace in creating a more livable city.
City Council instructed the City Attorney to draft language for labor peace and contract succession, led by Vice Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilmembers Suja Lowenthal and Steve Neal. While workers and the Long Beach community will monitor this process carefully, we rejoice at the continuing victories – Measure N, the Hyatt hotels, and now in City Council – in Long Beach. While this struggle isn’t yet complete, the struggle in Long Beach  is truly an effort to build peace and justice for workers in a city that uses its wealth to lift up all its residents.

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