LAX workers back on the job today


LOS ANGELES, CA (August 29, 2008) – Hundreds of workers providing services “from curb to cabin” are back on the job at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today after a landmark strike that highlighted a growing crisis in passenger service and security tied to falling standards for airline service workers. Following a call for all parties to go back to the negotiating table by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this morning, workers – who provide services including security at terminals, gates and cargo facilities, wheelchair assistance, janitorial services in aircraft cabins and terminals and SkyCap and baggage handling services – began returning to their jobs.

“Millions of people come through LAX every year but we need more training and support so we can provide the highest-quality service and security that passengers deserve,” said Julio Topete, a cabin search crewmember with Aero Port Services. “This strike showed that we are willing to stand up for respect on the job and to improve service here at LAX for workers and passengers.”

According to Mayor Villaraigosa’s release, “striking workers will return to work without retaliation and the parties will resume negotiations.” The statement goes on to say, “I am urging the workers and contractors, with the support of the airlines, to come to a fair agreement that ensures quality services and keeps passengers moving safely and efficiently at the international gateway to Southern California.”

Over the three-week “cooling off” period, workers will go back to negotiations with service companies contracted by major airlines including United, American and Southwest Airlines to reach an agreement on improved training, pay and benefit standards.

LAX workers employed by some of the largest airline service contractors in the country, including G2 Secure Staff, Air Serv, Aviation Safeguards and Aero Port Services, have been in contract talks with their employers since early July.

Similar talks are underway with many of the same contractors at airports in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland. Most of those contracts will expire at the end of this month.

SEIU Local 1877 is part of SEIU United Service Workers West, representing more than 40,000 janitors, security officers, airport service workers and other property service workers across California. It is affiliated with the 2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation’s largest union for property services workers and the fastest-growing labor union in the Americas.