During the recent mayoral election, the DWP labor union got involved in the race by backing Eric Garcetti’s rival with millions of dollars, in order to obtain a favorable labor contract. Voters clearly expressed their opinion on this issue when they gave Garcetti the victory.
Therefore, the urgency with which the new contract is being handled and the pressure that exists for Mayor Garcetti to accept an offer negotiated by his predecessor, Antonio Villaraigosa, are unacceptable.
It is not surprising that the union is in a hurry for its offer to be approved as soon as possible. What is outrageous is that the majority of the City Council members who support the offer are playing along with the DWP in the council.
It is amazing that Council members have nothing but praise for the union’s offer. They are the ones who fear the possibility of a strike and have argued that without quick action, a salary raise negotiated in the previous contract will enter into effect. The union’s current offer does not include a raise for three years, postponing that increase for later.
But what Council members are not mentioning are the outrageous labor clauses that benefit the DWP and salary systems that are exclusive for these employees, like the ones the city comptroller recently released.
Therefore, especially given the circumstances and the high profile the labor contract had in the election, Garcetti is the one who should set the path of the negotiation on behalf of the city. After that, Angelenos should get enough time to find out the details before the contract is approved.
Council members, on the other hand, should actually represent the constituents who elected them and look after their interests, instead of prioritizing those who gave them campaign money. By supporting this offer from the DWP rather than continuing to seek savings for the city and its residents, they have turned their backs on their taxpayers.
The reforms at the DWP, which the majority of Angelenos want, start with the labor contract. Everyone must support Garcetti so that he fulfills the promise he made to voters. Council members, at least to show respect for the will of the people, should not sabotage the mayor’s intentions by rushing the process, like the DWP labor union wants.