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Los Angeles unions support Hollywood writers

By Jorge Garcia

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Unions representing teachers, truck drivers and other workers soon to go to the negotiating table showed up in downtown Los Angeles on Friday to support Hollywood’s high profile film and television writers.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) began a work stoppage on May 2 after failing to reach an agreement on higher wages with media companies including Walt Disney Co, Netflix Inc and Warner Bros Discovery Inc.

On Friday, several hundred members of tourism and hospitality industry unions, teachers, logistics workers and government employees gathered in downtown Los Angeles in a show of unity. The participating unions represent more than 200,000 workers and the collective bargaining agreements also expire in 2023, the organizers said.

“It’s going to be a hot summer of work,” Lorena Gonzalez, executive secretary of the California Labor Federation, told the crowd. “It is your strength to stand together that will ensure that the next generation of workers have the ability to live.”

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Organizers said the unions had universal demands for living wages amid rising food, housing and transportation costs.

Writer Danielle Roderick said she hoped the writers would lead a movement of “everyone who can’t take it”.

“Everyone feels like they’re being eaten alive in some way,” said Roderick, who attended the meeting with her husband, also a writer, and two children.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents major studios, has said it has offered “generous” compensation to writers. There are no new talks between the two parties on the agenda.

(Reporting by Jorge Garcia and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Tom Hogue)

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