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Laid-off janitors and supporters plan protest outside Century Plaza

A protest planned outside JP Morgan Chase-owned Century Plaza on Thursday afternoon by recently laid-off janitors is expected to cause traffic gridlock in Century City.

Organizers say the march and rally scheduled for 1 p.m. at the corner of Avenue of the Stars and Constellation Boulevard could lead to civil disobedience as janitors with picket signs and banners block the streets.

The janitors are expected to be joined by hundreds of supporters, including fellow janitors, security officers and airport workers, organizers said.

“We are protesting to call on JP Morgan Chase to help bring these janitors back to work,” said Mike Chavez, a spokesman for the service employees union SEIU United Service Workers West. “JP Morgan paid out billions in bonuses last year, while the people who clean their buildings are being laid off. Many of these hardworking families have no way to put food on the table, or pay rent. ”

Two weeks ago, 16 janitors, who were employed by a custodial contractor were laid off from their jobs cleaning Century Plaza Tower and 2000 Avenue of the Stars — both owned by JP Morgan Chase and home to some of the richest tenants in Los Angeles. In a show of support, another 57 janitors walked off the job at Century Plaza, organizers said.

Since Tuesday, at least half a dozen janitors have been on a three-day “Fast for Justice,” while other workers have participated in candlelight vigils.

“This is bigger than JP Morgan Chase, it’s bigger than the laid-off janitors who sparked this fight,” said David Huerta, vice president of United Service Workers West. “It’s about standing up and fighting for what’s right and what’s good for our country.”

Officials at the Los Angeles Police Department's West Traffic Division said street closures would be enforced in Century City through the late afternoon, and would include Century Park East between Santa Monica Boulevard and Olympic Boulevard; and Constellation Boulevard between Century Plaza East and Avenue of the Stars.

-- Ann M. Simmons

 
Comments () | Archives (43)

Give me a break! I lost my job last year due to the economy and no one protested the decision or disrupted traffic for hours. I hope if there is some disobedience, arrests are made for their actions.

Absolutely absurd. Profitable companies pay out billions in bonuses and still lay off people all the time, especially in the last few years. Its outrageous that they do that, but where was this union's outrage each time this has happened in LA to people other than their members? In the mean time, tax payers are going to have to forgo use of streets that they pay for in order that these guys can protest the loss of 20 jobs or so, which, lets face it, is pretty small compared to what's happened these last few years. If these guys want to chain themselves to the doors of the building, or something along those lines, fine, but don't inconvenience huge segments of the population because 20 people lost their jobs.

they're protesting JP Morgan when they didn't even work for them? They worked for a contractor.... If I was JP Morgan, I'd release the entire company. I wouldn't want one of my contractors causing a business disruption and damage to my reputation! Welcome to the real world folks! And hire non-union, they only cause more problems than they solve!

This should never be allowed. The Janitors have a right to protest if they want but it should be done on the sidewalk. They should never be allowed to shut down streets and block access to the hospital and businesses that pay enormous amounts of tax money. I'm sorry 16 people lost jobs but it is a bad economy and it happens. Think of the cost to the city this protest will cost in police, fire and department of transportation. How many of these protesters today will be illegal?

SEIU ( or ACORN) wants people to keep jobs when the company has no work. This only works with government when politics make decision instead of economics. Just look at the school spending $578 million for one building.

You are not entitled to a job. It does not matter how much your employer makes, he or she does not have to keep you employed and pay your salary.

The story does not explain why the janitors were laid off. Are we to believe they were laid off unjustly? or were they just no longer needed?

Here you have a bunch of idiots that think they are entitled to a job. It does not matter how big the company is it is not required that they keep you on a payroll. What country are you from or should I say planet?

“It’s about standing up and fighting for what’s right and what’s good for our country.”

These are the same people who want amnesty for the 'illegal immigrants', and went to protest in Arizona.
One day maybe the union leaders will figure out where the jobs are going...
Si Se Puede!! Viva Arizona!!!

Good for JP morgan for firing them. California is at will state, this janitors are welcome to go on unemployment or get another job.

Whatever! My husband lost his job because his company was doing bad. I'm supposed to feel bad for the janitors? Why? Why should they deserve to be rehired? They didn't even work for JP Morgan they worked for another company. This move was not unjust, it was an economic reality. I'm so sick and tired of hearing about these protestors and their sense of entitlement.

JP Morgan was NOT their employer. If they have a grievance they should protest outside the offices of the company that laid them off.

“It’s about standing up and fighting for what’s right and what’s good for our country.” .....a joke! This is not a national security issued. These people don't know simply economics.

Shutting down traffic NEVER leads to the public having sympathy for your cause.

In fact, it does the opposite.


And, instead bussing people in to protest the loss of jobs in a tough economy, why doesn't the janitor's union use that cash to bolster the laid off workers skills so they can move UP from being janitors?

Amazing the amount of suppoters JP Morgan has among LA Times posters. Or could it be they are trying to stretch their hate-mongering to union workers?

So Century City companies are going to lose millions of lost productivity/business so thugs at the SEUI can protest 19 (only 19!!!!) illegal alien janitors that lost their jobs? They're protesting against JPMorgan Chase, who has absolutely no control over whether or not their janitorial contractor hires or fires their workers. Who in their right mind in City Hall approved the permit for this purpose? Oh wait, I forgot we had a dolt for a mayor that is owned by the illegal alien/union lobby. Great job Villar!!

Arrest and deport all of them.

They should be using their newly found free time to search for new employment. I must have missed the memo that guarantees us all jobs. Get real.

This is ridiculous! I hope JP Morgan fires the contractor! There are people willing to work, and not for a union, who will appreciate a steady paycheck! Off with the Unions! And why are they fasting for 72 hours only! Keep it up, make it 72 days! Good Riddance! Go Arizona!!

Keep up the union crap. America is finally waking up to the destruction the unions are causing this country and California in general.
This is just another example of how 16 idiots can ruin the daily lives of hundreds of thousands of commuters. Lots of people lose their jobs everyday. Why are these no-skill workers worth the trouble?
The sheer idiocy of protesting the owner of the building and not the cleaning subcontractor shows you the IQ level of these buffoons.
All they're doing is digging their hole deeper. Nobody cared before, but now they have many more enemies instead of friends.

Companies have the right to release people from their positions.

These unions are out of control.....this thug behavior has got to be stopped. Unions...you are not going to get any support when you continue to hold up employers/taxpayers until you get what you want.

You say that they make millions and give out big bonuses...AND? This was a "contractor" who laid them off...not the contractor's client!

If unions were so concerned about their members...tell me...where were you when for instance...CA businesses influenced Sacramento to change the Workers Comp rules in 2002....which in turn..affected your injured members to their working detriment? Guess it doesn't matter as long as those dues keep rolling in.

When the law firms and other businesses in these buildings close up shop or have layoffs, there are less offices to clean. When there are less offices to clean, the building management pays its janitorial contractor less. When the janitorial contractor is paid less, they have to lay off a handful of janitors. Why does SEIU not see it this way? This has nothing to do with the owner of the building, JP Morgan, other than the fact that it make for a convenient target.

When the law firms and other businesses in these buildings close up shop or have layoffs, there are less offices to clean. When there are less offices to clean, the building management pays its janitorial contractor less. When the janitorial contractor is paid less, they have to lay off a handful of janitors. Why does SEIU not see it this way? This has nothing to do with the owner of the building, JP Morgan, other than the fact that it make for a convenient target.

How else could it be explained that the unionized police force and the unionized Mayor's office of Villarigosa would allow 1,000's of other citizens to be negatively impacted by the closing of streets and possible breaking of the law (ie, civil disobedience?) How corrupt is this??? 19 janitors? All employed by ABM and not JP Morgan? If you live in LA, you are run by the unions!!

Fire them all.. there are plenty of other s who will do the work

 
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