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Local Union Members to Join WTO Protest

About 300 Los Angeles labor leaders and rank-and-file activists, from dock workers to film production crews, will join thousands of union protesters in Seattle today to mark the opening of the World Trade Organization summit. Miguel Contreras, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, which represents about 700,000 union members, said the labor contingent is asking trade ministers to incorporate “enforceable worker rights and protections” into future accords. “Trade affects a broad range of Los Angeles industries, from manufacturing to filmmaking, and it hasn’t been working here,” Contreras said. “All the auto industry in Los Angeles is now gone. Price Pfister closed its manufacturing plant in the [San Fernando] Valley. Guess moved its production south. Everything we see is affected by trade in Los Angeles County, so we’ve got to make sure to [put] a face on this.” The national AFL-CIO, led by John Sweeney, has made the trade summit protest a priority. Sweeney and heads of most major national unions plan to lead a procession of about 20,000 union activists today through Seattle to the WTO meeting, where they will present a list of demands to trade ministers.


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