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The Little Union That Could … Shut Down This Week’s Democratic Debate

Los Angeles’s hotel and restaurant local is no giant, but it has blazed trails for the entire American labor movement.

BY Harold Meyerson

Anyone who doubts that Los Angeles is now officially a militant union town hasn’t been following the course of the Democrats’ next presidential debate, which is scheduled for this Thursday. Initially set to take place at UCLA, the Democratic National Committee was compelled to move it to Loyola Marymount University when an AFSCME local of UCLA employees threatened to mount a picket line there in protest of the university’s failing to come to terms with them over their next contract. So the DNC moved the debate to LMU, only to encounter a similar threat from UNITE HERE—the appropriately acronymic name for the union of hotel and restaurant employees.


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