LA Labor Fed, SEIU-USWW Press Conference on Thanksgiving Eve Protest at LAX

Coalition Announces 1,000+ Person Action on Thanksgiving Eve to Protest LAX Contractor’s Violation of City’s Living Wage Law and Elimination of Affordable Health Care for Workers
LA Labor Fed, USWW and Community Leaders to Present March Route & Rally Logistics

 Los Angeles, CA | Airport workers, along with Maria Elena Durazo, UFCW Local 770 Secretary/Treasurer John Grant, SEIU USWW’s Mike Garcia and other labor and community leaders, will announce plans to march on LAX on November 21, 2012. The Century Progress March, on the busiest traveling day of the year at LAX, brings together South L.A.’s diverse neighborhoods to demand good jobs with affordable health care to lift up struggling communities and propel Southern California to an enduring prosperity.

“We’ve worked hard to improve our lives, fighting for good jobs with healthcare for our families,” said José Lobera, a 77-year-old wheelchair assistant at Aviation Safeguards, an LAX passenger services contractor (AVSG).  “But my employer, like so many other employers across the country, has broken its promises to us, and canceled our union healthcare for our families.”  Jose and his wife can no longer afford the care they need to preserve their ailing health.

Earlier this year, AVSG walked away from its contract with over 400 LAX workers.   Subsequently, AVSG failed to comply with the City’s Living Wage Ordinance, refused to meet with the National Mediation Board, refused to honor contractual terms, and refused to meet with the union to resolve any disputes.  Earlier this year, AVSG stopped paying into the health care trust fund for workers’ health care at LAX, effectively cutting off affordable healthcare for AVSG employees and their families.    The trust estimates AVSG owes over $4.0M and counting for workers’ health care.

“By allowing the situation to continue, LAX is punishing the good contractors who play by the rules.  Things at the airport have gotten out of control, and workers are ready to take action,” said Mike Garcia, USWW President.  “LAX jobs used to be good jobs that allowed its workers to pass on a better life; now LAX is holding back hard working people and the communities around the airport.”

In 2012, USWW’s 2,000 airport workers’ collective bargaining contracts are set to expire.  USWW is also organizing the airport’s non-union contractors.  These workers include cabin cleaners, wheelchair assistants, janitors, ramp and cargo workers, and baggage handlers.   Through their hard work USWW members first helped pass the living wage, the provision of health care for airport employees, and the airports Contract Service Provider Policy.

SEIU United Service Workers West represents more than 40,000 janitors, security officers, airport service workers, and other property service workers across California. SEIU is the fastest growing union in North America, with more than 2 million members.

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For more information on our Union, please contact Mark Gomez at (408) 835-2713.

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