Cesar Chavez Day march shines light on LA produce workers' rights

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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A march by labor activists on Cesar Chavez Day is meant to shine a spotlight on the rights of Los Angeles produce workers.

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A march by labor activists on Cesar Chavez Day is meant to shine a spotlight on the rights of Los Angeles produce workers.

The rally took place early Tuesday morning in downtown Los Angeles. Organizers said they want to expose what they call "an underground economy" in the produce industry, which includes both good and bad employers.

Teamsters who took part in the march said they are in support of unionization for workers at the L.A. Produce Market. They say there are 1,000-2,000 workers at the market who lack union representation.

"We're here to help them to organize. We want good wages for them. We want good medical for them. We want safety in those markets. So we're just trying to give the message that the Local is still here for them. The Teamsters are still here for them to help them to get those wages that they can and the benefits," said Ernie Lopez with Teamsters Local 630.

Labor leaders are also marching for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship and to support the L.A. Raise the Wage Coalition.

The march began at the Teamsters Local 630 headquarters on Stanford Avenue and stretched to the L.A. Produce Market at East Olympic Boulevard.

Chavez would have turned 88-years-old Tuesday.