Submitted on Mon, 01/12/2015 - 5:27pm
On the Beaches of Santa Monica, Temp Workers Organize With the IWW
By Shyolanda Montana, Labor Notes
There’s a hidden underside to Santa Monica, California’s idyllic exterior.
Santa Monica is a beautiful beachfront city: breezes from the Pacific Ocean, a year-round Mediterranean climate, 3.5 miles of beaches. Seven million visitors a year flock here—generating $1.63 billion.
But the workers who maintain the city are hired on an as-needed basis, earning poverty-level wages, lacking benefits and the ability to form a union.
I am one of them. I’ve been employed as a temporary employee in beach bathroom maintenance for four years. I struggle to earn a living and hold an extra job so I can earn enough money to survive.