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Labor Unions to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa: Happy Thanksgiving, NOT!

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Labor unions are furious about former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's pension reform plan that he's hoping to put on the May 2013 ballot, and now they brought their grievances to current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's doorstep on Thanksgiving eve.

"The mayor hasn't said a word about Riordan's unjust plan to destroy our city and our future," said L.A. City sanitation worker Simboa Wright in a press release. "Will he stand with city workers or will he throw us under the rich man's bus?"

Whoa! The "candlelight vigil," which was organized by Keep L.A. Strong, an organization of unions and community groups working to stop the Riordan measure, took place last night at The Getty House, the mayoral residence in Windsor Square.

City workers from such unions as SEIU Local 721, the Teamsters, and the Coalition of L.A. City Unions showed up with candles and an over-sized letter signed by union members that they hand delivered to the mayor's door.

Riordan wants to replace the city's pension program with a 401(k) plan for new city employee hires. He also wants current city workers to contribute more to their pension plans.

Riordan says the city of Los Angeles will go bankrupt and services to the poor will be affected if pension costs aren't dealt with.

Wright said in the press release: "My family and I will be at the mayor's house to knock on his door... This is a moral issue for our city. Silence is unacceptable."

Villaraigosa is serving out the final months of his two terms as mayor. He'll probably dodge the pension reform question for as long as he can.

(Editor's Note: Patrick Range McDonald helped Richard Riordan write his memoir.)

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.


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