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Thousands to Join Labor Day Rallies

August 31, 2006|Teresa Watanabe | Times Staff Writer

Thousands of workers and their advocates are expected to hold rallies throughout Southern California over the Labor Day weekend, pressing for immigrant rights, middle-class wages and other causes.

Some immigrant rights advocates plan to march through downtown Los Angeles on Saturday in support of legalizing undocumented migrants and registering citizens to vote. The participants, some of whom were involved in the massive pro-immigrant march downtown on March 25, plan to walk from Broadway and Olympic Boulevard to City Hall beginning at 11 a.m.

Workers will gather Monday for their traditional Labor Day breakfast at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, followed by a 10 a.m. Mass celebrated by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony.

The events will focus on "rebuilding Los Angeles' middle class" through campaigns to organize security guards, hotel workers and port drivers, said Mary Gutierrez, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

In Wilmington, thousands of union members and their supporters plan to gather Monday for their 27th annual Labor Day march and rally. The march is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. at Broad and E streets, followed by a rally at Banning Park, at Pacific Coast Highway and Eubank Avenue.

The rally will feature updates on various labor issues, including upcoming contract negotiations involving longshore workers, engineers, architects, port drivers and others, said Miguel Lopez of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition.

"Our main focus is labor uniting around all workers' rights, including immigrants," he said.

Also Monday, several immigrant women's groups plan to hold a march in downtown Los Angeles in support of immigrant families. The group, which plans to march at noon from Olympic and Broadway to City Hall, will urge a moratorium on the deportation of families with U.S. citizen children, said Gloria Saucedo of Hermandad Mexicana of Panorama City.

We Are America, a national coalition of labor, faith-based and immigrant rights groups, will hold a rally and vigil in Los Angeles on Sept. 9 to urge Congress to legalize undocumented immigrants, provide more family and work visas and strengthen protections against immigrant abuse.

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