LAX Workers Strike Today, Will Cause Traffic Jams Near Airport
Angry over what they call airlines' dangerous practice of hiring contracted workers at low wages to do tasks like clean out cabins and handle bags, unionized LAX employees went on strike today.
Protesters showed up at the airport at a bleary-eyed 3:00 a.m., and will continue picketing throughout the day. In the morning, strikers will hold rally signs outside various LAX terminals, and at noon, they'll march through the airport to end up near Century Boulevard and Avion Drive. There, 18 workers are planning an act of civil disobedience.
Also taking part in the protest are religious leaders, janitors and other unions. Altogether, 1,200 people are expected to participate.
The strike is being organized by Service Employees Union International-United Service Workers West, and is part of a number of protests being held throughout the city today in conjunction with the May Day General Strike.
In a statement, union representatives said that the use of contracted workers results in unsafe working conditions, as well as employees being paid less than minimum wage, and in some cases, going without health insurance.
Traffic, unsurprisingly, will be very unpleasant for a while this afternoon as a result of the strike. Century Blvd will be closed going east and west between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., and those trying to catch a flight during that time have been advised to give themselves an extra 45 minutes to get to the airport.