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Council OKs Measure to Protect City Contract Jobs

Signaling its intent to look out for the employees of private firms that hold city contracts, the Los Angeles City Council this week gave strong preliminary approval to a precedent-setting jobs protection ordinance.

The measure would require that when a city contract changes hands, the firm that gets the contract would have to keep the workers left behind for at least 90 days. This would give the workers a trial period with the new company and enhance their chances of being kept on permanently, said Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, chairwoman of the council’s Personnel Committee.

The impetus for the ordinance, tentatively approved 11-0, arose several months ago, when some of the firms that were awarded food concession contracts at Los Angeles International Airport sent pink slips to more than 300 of their predecessor’s employees, some of whom had held their jobs for many years.

If the measure gets final approval next week as expected and is signed by the mayor, it will put Los Angeles among the growing numbers of U.S. cities that are taking steps to protect their contractors’ employees.

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