SEIU-USWW workers at LAX won an important victory on Tuesday December 5th as the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to changes in the Los Angeles Airport living wage ordinance that translate to wage increases for thousands of employees. LAX workers will now have wage increases phased in at a higher level than the Los Angeles city minimum wage that was adopted last year. In addition, a loophole that had kept wages down for many airline catering employees was eliminated.
“This victory shows what we can accomplish when we work together and speak with one voice,” said Armando Munoz, a Special Services Agent at LAX. “With the cost of living always going up in our area, its only right that steps be taken so we can continue to work hard serving passengers and keeping travellers safe.”
In addition to wage increases, the changes also mandate that companies allow workers time on the job to receive the emergency response training they need to be part of a comprehensive, “whole community” approach to maintaining safety. LAX should be praised as the first airport in the country to come forward with a fully defined emergency response program to prepare the thousands of uniformed, contracted workers who serve the traveling public, and now our members will be able to play an important role.
“Today was an important day,” said SEIU-USWW President David Huerta. “The Los Angeles economy benefits tremendously from LAX, and everyone, including the service workers who help it run smoothly, must be part of a vision for prosperity. As Washington DC considers tax giveaways to billionaires, our city government took leadership and made a step in the direction of helping real working people at the airport.”
The amendments passed were introduced this past June by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson and Councilmembers Curran Price, Nury Martinez, Mike Bonin and Gil Cedillo.