Administrative Clerk, Los Angeles Public Library

Local 3090 member Tony Jordan, 52, has spent nearly half his life as an administrative clerk in the West Los Angeles branch of the city’s public library. With 20 years on the job interacting with the public, processing and checking out materials, he enjoys being a familiar face to patrons.

“I’ve built a rapport where I’m on a first name basis with so many folks,” Jordan said. “It’s something the public enjoys. It’s as if we’ve built a small town atmosphere here.”

Jordan said he’s proud that his branch caters to a diverse mix of Angelenos, young and old. That includes a large veteran population. The branch is located near the West Los Angeles Veteran Affairs Medical Center.

Like his card-carrying parents who worked in the rubber industry in Los Angeles circa World War II, Jordan values his status as a union member and has been attending meetings regularly since 1997. Now more than ever, Jordan said, unions are critical for worker’s rights.

“Union rights in the private sector are running over people,” he said. “I’d hate to see the Uber model become the norm. I feel the unions are important because number one we’re trying to maintain a living wage. And with the cost of living here in LA, that’s huge.”

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Jordan has seen the cost of living skyrocket during his lifetime. Thanks to his union, Jordan and his fellow department employees recently got some good news on that front.

“My department just got a 5.5% pay increase starting in September because my department is having a problem with attracting people and retention. The union was able to negotiate that. They were pretty good about helping with that.”

When he’s not at the library, Jordan fancies himself a food connoisseur, sampling any and all of the city’s ethnic food offerings. His fix is always changing, he said.

“Here in West Los Angeles, we have a large Persian community. So these days I’m doing a lot of Persian food.”

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"What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can't afford to buy a hamburger?"

— Martin Luther King Jr.

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