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SEIU United Service Workers West Alerts Flying Public to Significant Traffic Congestion at LAX on Thanksgiving Eve


SEIU-United Service Workers West, a labor union representing 2,000 airport workers at LAX, issued an alert to travel agents today, advising them that on November 21st, and possibly in the days to follow, LAX passengers may experience significant traffic congestion and other forms of delay.

The potential hold-ups are the result of a fight to preserve family healthcare at the airport. Travel agents in Southern California began receiving calls and emails today letting them know that LAX workers and their supporters are planning to hold a major protest against airline contractor Aviation Safeguards.

Earlier this year, Aviation Safeguards – a contractor providing security screening, wheelchair assistance and other passenger services at major US airports –refused to honor its collective bargaining agreement with more than 400 of its LAX employees, causing these workers and their families to lose access to healthcare.

Over the past ten months, Aviation Safeguards has refused to meet with the National Mediation Board, the federal agency responsible for resolving transportation industry labor disputes. Earlier this year, the company also stopped payments to the trust fund that provided healthcare to the company's LAX workers. The trust estimates Aviation Safeguards owes over $3.7 million and counting for workers' health care.

“By allowing the situation to continue, LAX is punishing the good contractors who do play by the rules. As a result, workers have been demonstrating week after week. They've had enough. Things at LAX have gotten out of control, and workers are ready to take action,” said Mike Garcia, USWW President. “Union and non-union workers are ready to take to the street for their children and for their families.”

Workers have requested that the City pull Aviation Safeguards' license from operating at the airport. In a year-long battle, the company has rejected all efforts to resolve this dispute, leaving workers no choice but to look towards major work actions during the holiday season.

Aviation Safeguards is a subsidiary of Command Security Corp. of Lagrangeville, N.Y. The company provides services to Federal Express and airlines including United and Alaska Airlines, Qantas, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa and Air France. Aviation Safeguards maintains a presence at major US airports including Philadelphia, Portland, Boston Logan, LaGuardia and JFK. The company also provides uniformed security officers and support security services to government, financial and industrial customers throughout the United States.

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.

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

SEIU-United Service Workers West
Martín Terrones, 310-597-1011

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