Union to Picket Outside LAX Airport

Except the workers they're allegedly picketing on behalf of voluntarily voted to leave the union


On one of the busiest travel days of the year, hundreds of workers will march today from noon to 2 p.m. along Century Boulevard -- the primary route to Los Angeles International Airport -- to protest what their union calls unfair labor practices by an airport contractor.

The union says 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 contracts with the Service Employees International Union and withdrew all health insurance.

"By allowing the situation to continue, LAX is punishing the good contractors who play by the rules," according to Mike Garcia, president of SEIU United Service Workers West. "Things at the airport have gotten out of control, and workers are ready to take action."

SEIU represents janitors, wheelchair attendants, skycaps, security guards and other service workers at LAX. Aviation Safeguards workers, however, said they voted to end their affiliation with SEIU and contended that the planned march was a pointless effort.

"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