More than 1,000 union workers rallied at Los Angeles City Hall Friday, urging elected officials and candidates to support proposals for creating and maintaining jobs.
"Friday is a national call for good jobs now," said Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo. "It starts in L.A., but it's going to make its way all across the United States of America."
Durazo and other labor leaders called on the federal government to provide financial backing to the so-called "30-10" initiative -- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's proposal to implement a dozen major transportation projects in 10 years instead of 30 as originally planned.
"The first thing it does is it creates 165,000 new jobs in the construction industry," said Los Angeles/Orange County Building and Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary Richard Slawson. "This is our stimulus package."
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif along with AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka attended the event and called for job creation.
"We're here to send a message to this great state that the key to the American dream is a good-paying job,'' Boxer said.
Funding for the transportation projects -- including a portion of the so- called Subway to the Sea -- is guaranteed through Measure R, a half-cent sales tax increase that Los Angeles County voters approved in 2008.
Also Friday, labor leaders denounced a proposal by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service to stop delivering mail on Saturdays.
Many in the crowd belonged to the National Association of Letter Carriers, whose president, Frederic Rolando, accused the Postal Service of "trying to exploit the current financial crisis to cut 80,000 jobs."