The nation's top labor leader took to the streets of Hollywood on Wednesday in a show of support for thousands of low-wage carwash workers seeking to organize a union.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney vowed to "wash away injustice from the carwash industry" during a boisterous rally at Hollywood Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.

The rally was staged in front of Vermont Hand Wash, one of the shops targeted in the union drive.

Before the event began, however, a billboard company took down a pro-union billboard advertisement that was supposed to provide a backdrop for the rally.

A union news release cited "pressure from the carwash owners." Representatives of the carwash firm and the billboard company did not return calls seeking comment.

-- Patrick McDonnell

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