December 6, 2022

Herrera resigned as president of the LA Labor Federation after the audio leak

Faces anger over a controversial cause Leaked audio recordingLos Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera resigned Monday night, and the organization’s remaining leaders on Tuesday demanded the resignations of three City Council members implicated in the scandal.

“Racism in any form has no place in the Labor House. It is unconscionable for those elected to fight for our communities of color to engage in hateful and vile anti-Black, anti-LGBTQ, anti-Asian, and anti-Oxacan sentiments, pitting our working communities against each other. These sentiments will not be tolerated by our organization or the people we represent,” Thom Davis, president of the federation’s executive committee, said in a statement.

“The executive committee of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is calling on elected officials to follow President Herrera’s example by resigning immediately,” Davis said after Monday night’s meeting.

The union, which represents 800,000 workers in 300 unions, has been at the center of a crisis that has rocked Los Angeles’ political leadership over the past two days.

Herrera — along with Los Angeles City Council members Nouri Martinez, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo — participated in a closed-door conversation at the federation’s offices in October 2021, where Martinez said a white council member treated her young black son like a “sub.” And Council Member Mike Bone’s son described “Parez Sanguito,” or “like a monkey.”

Other racist and derogatory remarks were made during the conversation, which focused on the city’s once-every-decade redistricting process and the preservation and maintenance of Latino political power.

The conversation remained private for about a year before exploding into public view on Sunday The Times reported. The leaked audio was first posted on Reddit.

The labor federation described the leaked audio in part “Serious Security and Privacy Breach” A Sunday email to affiliates at its offices contained “illegal” recordings of “numerous private and confidential conversations in private offices and conference rooms,” according to a text provided to The Times.

Aside from initially attacking The Times for publishing the contents of the leaks, the coalition has not publicly addressed the source of the records.

Herrera’s resignation comes after an avalanche of demands for Martinez, de Leon and Cedillo to step down from the city council and for Herrera to leave his own position as head of one of the country’s most powerful and influential labor organizations. Martinez, who served as City Council president, announced on Tuesday morning that he was resigning from his leadership position. Taking leave From the congregation.

Support for Herrera’s departure was widespread across the labor movement Monday, including Los Angeles area members along with the leaders of eight SEIU California unions, United Teachers Los Angeles, Unite Here Local 11 and the California Nurses Assn.

Shortly before Monday night’s meeting, Herrera’s home local, Teamsters Local 396, joined several other Teamsters locals in calling for Herrera to leave his union post.

“We are a movement of large organizations and deeply entrenched processes,” Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, president of the California Federation of Labor, which is separate from the local union, said in a tweet Monday night. “But we ultimately prioritize working-class unity across all racial groups above all else. It’s time for our labor movement to come together and start the hard work of healing.

AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler released a statement Sunday saying, “We will gather all the facts, but the hate speech expressed at that meeting was inexcusable.”

“Until we are held accountable, the healing process cannot begin,” Gonzalez Fletcher wrote. “We have a lot of work to do to ensure that the labor movement is a place where all workers can come together in solidarity in our shared struggle.”

Times staff writer Julia Vick contributed to this report.