Videos: Seven Striking Social Workers Arrested During Protest
Seven social workers were arrested today after sitting down in the middle of a downtown street during a planned protest.
The four women and three men, chanting "all in the name of children" and "child safety," were taken into custody near the intersection of Temple and Hill streets after cops repeatedly told them to move, stating that their permit to protest had expired, CNS reports.
Earlier, the throngs of protesters rallied in front of the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, hoping to grab their attention. Even a smaller group of protesters were inside the Hall of Administration during the Board's weekly meeting, the L.A. Times reports.
"The Board of Supervisors hadn't even acknowledged our struggle," protester Michael Aguilera told CNS.
After the meeting, the protesters were guided by the LAPD throughout downtown up to the street corner where the seven were arrested. The rest of the protesters left peacefully.
The striking social workers are demanding more hires and a lighter workload so they can accurately and completely process the number of child welfare cases they receive. The Union that represents the workers, Service Employees International Union Local 721, is demanding 35 new hires every month for the next 17 months. Raises were another issue, but the L.A. Times has reported that the main focus of the Union is hiring new caseworkers.
Meanwhile, CNS is reporting that the county higher-ups claim to be completely on board with the demands of the striking social workers. County CEO William Fujioka has claimed that nearly 100 workers have already been hired and the county is looking to hire more. But the county and the workers have disagreed on the number of new hires needed, and the strikers are adamant to see proof of that progress.
"At DCFS, our motto is, if it's not in writing, it didn't happen," Aguilera said.
In all, the Times reports that 1,710 workers were on hand for the demonstration today, though a spokesperson for the Union stated that the number was closer to 2,000.