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Some LAX workers call on union to rescind threat of Thanksgiving-Eve march

City News Service | 11/20/2012, 12:37 p.m.

LOS ANGELES, Calif.--A representative of a group workers at Los Angeles International Airport said today they have no intention of joining a union march on Century Boulevard tomorrow.

Airport employees represented by Service Employees International Union's United Workers West are planning to march in protest of what union officials call unfair labor practices by Aviation Safeguards.

According to the union, about 400 airport workers were left without a contract earlier this year when Aviation Safeguards, a unit of Command Security Corp. of Parsippany, N.J., terminated union contracts and withdrew all health insurance.

But a group of Aviation Safeguards workers want SEIU's Service Workers West to take back its threat of disrupting Thanksgiving travelers at LAX.

"We petitioned to leave the SEIU almost a year ago, and the contract ended," Frederick McNeil of Aviation Safeguards said. "And now they're bringing in outsiders to block travelers who are just trying to get home for the holidays. It's ridiculous. People need to understand that SEIU doesn't speak for the employees at Aviation Safeguards."

Andres Cazares, an Aviation Safeguards employee since 1993, said most of the marchers "will not even be LAX workers. They don't work here and they don't know our company."

Los Angeles International Airport officials have advised people heading to the airport Wednesday to expect a longer-than-usual drive because of the march.

While airport officials have been advising people to arrive two hours in advance of domestic flights and three hours before international flights, they suggested that people driving to LAX between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wednesday add about 90 minutes to their travel time.

Airport officials said the planned march will result in phased closures of westbound Century Boulevard between Airport and Sepulveda boulevards, and northbound Sepulveda between Imperial Highway and 98th Street.

All entrances to the airport's Central Terminal Area are expected to remain open, but motorists on westbound Century Boulevard could be diverted to northbound Airport Boulevard, then west on 98th Street, north on Vicksburg Avenue over the 96th Street Bridge and into the terminal area.

Motorists were advised to avoid the intersection of Century and Airport boulevards.

SEIU represents janitors, wheelchair attendants, skycaps, security guards and other service workers at LAX.