Workers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) plan to march on Wednesday -- one of the busiest travel days of the year -- to protest a company they say terminated union contracts and eliminated all health insurance.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said in a press release that it expects about 1,000 marchers, including workers and supporters. In response, the Los Angeles Police Department has advised travelers to arrive at terminals two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights.
The union said the workers' employer, Aviation Safeguards (AVSG), illegally decertified the union, violated the city's living wage ordinance and rescinded health care for more than 400 workers.
“LAX jobs used to be good jobs that allowed its workers to pass on a better life," SEIU-West President Mike Garcia said in a statement. "Now LAX is holding back hard working people and the communities around the airport.”
Aviation Safeguards said workers voted to leave the union and that it has increased wages to compensate for its new health care policy, ABC reports.
The protest will take place from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will result in closures of westbound Century Boulevard between Airport and Sepulveda boulevards, and northbound Sepulveda between Imperial Highway and 98th Street.
SEIU represents more than 2,000 LAX service workers, including janitors, baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants, security guards and others. It is also organizing the airport’s non-union contractors, according to the union.
To be clear, this is not a strike or a walk-out of employees at LAX, but an attempt by a union that does not represent Aviation Safeguards employees to disrupt holiday travel for hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, most of the protesters on Wednesday will not even be LAX workers, but outsiders brought in by the union.