Lou Siegel is a long-time public policy consultant, labor educator, fundraiser and progressive activist and blogger. Read more of his work at www.LaborLou.com.
will get a close look at a regional labor movement with membership numbers holding steady or even slightly increasing.
Compare this with much of the United States where the percentage of workers represented by unions is dropping rapidly and persistently.
Los Angeles, more than most cities (and California, more than most states), has stayed a step ahead of an employer-class determined to cleanse the global economy of collective worker power.
A neighborhood on the eastern edge of the L.A. basin and shorthand for the movie and television industries, Hollywood had its own city charter for fewer than ten years before being annexed by Los Angeles in 1910. By joining L.A., it gained access to the water supply then beginning to flow by aqueduct from the Owens Valley 233 miles to the north.
D.W. Griffith, Cecil B. DeMille and Charlie Chaplan filmed there but now, in fact, studios and related businesses are situated throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area with particular concentrations in Culver City, Burbank, the San Fernando Valley and – of course – the part of town known as Hollywood.