The Los Angeles Worker Center Network (LAWCN) launched in 2017 with a mission to build the power and grow the capacity of local worker centers to organize and advocate for low-wage workers in the Greater Los Angeles region—so that all workers experience worker power, solidarity, visibility, and healthy lives.
Through worker organizing, policy advocacy, capacity building, and services, we build upon over a decade of coordinated activities among the region’s worker centers to improve conditions in key low-wage industries, including the car wash, garment, home care, restaurant, retail, warehouse, and other low-wage sectors.
LAWCN leverages worker centers’ combined strengths, membership base, and industry expertise to sustain and bolster the organizing and leadership of workers, particularly immigrant, refugee, and Black workers, women and LGBTQ+ workers, and other workers of color.
CLEAN Carwash Worker Center
Garment Worker Center
Koreatown Immigrant Workers Alliance
Los Angeles Black Worker Center
Pilipino Workers Center
Restaurant Opportunities Center of Los Angeles
Warehouse Worker Resource Center
UCLA Labor Center
Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Los Angeles is the epicenter of deep worker exploitation in many sectors. LAWCN fulfills the need for a coordinated effort to address issues such as wage theft, employee misclassification, discrimination, employment access, immigration-based threats, and more.
Wage theft especially has been identified as a major concern affecting the city’s low-paid workers. A 2010 UCLA Labor Center report found that almost 30% of Los Angeles’ workers surveyed had experienced wage theft in the previous week, and that female and immigrant workers were more likely to experience it.
Visit the Issue Areas section to learn more about the issues workers face.
Building on the work of the End Wage Theft Coalition, LAWCN has played a critical role in establishing wage theft as a priority issue at the city, county, and state levels.
As part of the successful 2015-2016 campaigns to raise the minimum wage to $15 at the city, county, and state levels, LAWCN worked to ensure that robust wage enforcement include the establishment of local enforcement agencies in the City and County of Los Angeles in 2017.
In 2020, LAWCN helped pass legislation allowing local enforcement of a meal and rest break law, a key area that required adjustment.
Visit our Victories page to learn more about our accomplishments to date.