LOS ANGELES – Standing with members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and responding to concerns from airport workers regarding poor working conditions at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Los Angeles City Councilmembers Bill Rosendahl and Paul Koretz today urged Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) and the major airlines to act quickly to avoid labor disruptions at the airport.
Rosendahl and Koretz stood with several airport workers who shared their experiences with inadequate training, poor regard for safety, and dangerous working conditions at LAX. The Councilmembers called on LAWA and the airlines to demand that their service providers adhere to a tough set of service standards, and act to ease growing labor tensions among airline service employees.
Airline service workers perform a range of critical duties including security, providing assistance to passengers with disabilities, baggage handling, airplane cabin cleaning, and other “below the wing” services.
In response to the growing frustration among these airport workers, labor organizations have planned major events at LAX in the coming weeks to coincide with Occupational Health and Safety Week and Workers Memorial Day, including a multi-day hunger fast and a series of demonstrations that will culminate in a large rally at the airport on May 1. The slogan for this year’s Workers Memorial Day is “Remember the dead – Fight for the living.”
“I understand the deep frustration of the airport workers,” said Rosendahl. “It’s clear to me that the conduct and practices of the airline service contractors are creating poor working conditions and causing these labor tensions. We need to address that problem now. I call on LAWA and the airlines to act swiftly to avoid major labor disruptions at LAX, the largest origin and destination airport in the world.”
“The airport is crucial to our regional economy and quality of life,” said Koretz. “We rely on the people who work there to provide many essential services that are key to any commuter. Those workers should have nothing less than safe and satisfactory working conditions; anything that places those workers at risk can also place the quality and safety of our airport experience at risk.”
One of the workers that addressed the City Council today was a ramp worker for Aircraft Service International Group (ASIG), Rito Preciado, who broke both of his arms after falling from a truck platform that was servicing an airplane parked at the gate. Before the accident occurred, Rito reported to a supervisor that the equipment was unsafe, but the company did not respond to the concern.