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SEIU workers rally against LAX contractor Aviation Safeguards.
SEIU airport workers in Los Angeles have picked a high-visibility time to march on LAX: the day before Thanksgiving. The action isn't a strike or walkout, so service in the airport should be uninterrupted, but if you're driving into LAX Wednesday afternoon, chances are you'll be well aware there's a labor dispute going on. SEIU is targeting Aviation Safeguards, a contractor employing skycaps, wheelchair assistants, and security staff at the airport, contending that the company walked away from a contract and acted improperly in having its union decertified, hasn't complied with the Los Angeles living wage ordinance, and has stopped paying into a health care trust fund at LAX, stripping its workers of health care.

Aviation Safeguards claims that its workers decertified their union and are no longer part of SEIU; the union, though, says that the decertification was not carried out properly. As for the living wage ordinance:

Joe Conlon, a regional vice president for Aviation Safeguards, said the firm has a different interpretation of the Los Angeles living wage ordinance and has been meeting with city officials to resolve the issue.
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry will attend the Wednesday afternoon rally, which the union expects to draw 1,000 people.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:38 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You can't protest without a Union! Oh, and... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glitterscale, Krush, irishwitch

    We say that your union doesn't exist.  

    So, neener neener neener.

    Except they're out there right now protesting.  

    The disconnect between reality and legal fiction has infected corporations, who fail to realize that when the legal fictions that create them no longer reflect reality,

    They will themselves cease to exist because reality is a dick like that.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:44:44 AM PST

  •  Delaying traverlers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, VClib, FG

    on the bussiest travel day of the year isn't the best way to get the public on your side......

    A huge labor march is expected to snarl traffic around Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, just as passengers are arriving and departing for Thanksgiving trips.

    The day before Thanksgiving is typically one of the busiest of the year at LAX.

    People are being advised to arrive at terminals two hours before domestic flights and three hours before international flights, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

    Police said the labor demonstration by the Service Employees Union is expected to last from about 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. "Passengers arriving during this five-hour period are advised to add an additional 90 minutes to their planned drive time," the LAPD said in a statement.

    The union, which represents LAX workers, said in a statement that an airport contractor is violating the city's living-wage ordinance and has eliminated affordable healthcare for more than 400 workers.

    Union supporters said they were expecting more than 1,000 protesters.

    The protest is expected to clog airport entrances on westbound Century Boulevard and northbound Sepulveda Boulevard north of the Sepulveda Tunnel.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 08:50:24 AM PST

    •  Demonstrators arrested by LAPD (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just heard on the radio that the demonstrators who were blocking streets leading to LAX have been arrested and that the LAPD expects traffic to return to normal (busy and crowded on Thanksgiving eve) in the next hour.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 02:36:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In this case, Union is helping the Koch Brothers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib, ctexrep

      for free.

      Annoying people who are already annoyed never wins supporters.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 03:27:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, this seems to be only half true (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, FG
    The action isn't a strike or walkout, so service in the airport should be uninterrupted, but if you're driving into LAX Wednesday afternoon, chances are you'll be well aware there's a labor dispute going on.
    If this were literally true, then it would be a very good strategy on the part of the SEIU -- be very visible, but don't add extra time and aggravation to what is already the worst day of the year for someone who has to travel on that day.  After all, you want those travelers to be on your side, instead of becoming hugely angry with you for making an already horrible travel day even worse.  

    Unfortunately, it seems that local officials believe that the presence of the SEIU is going to add significantly to the aggravation of those people forced to travel today because they will slow down access to the airport.  See, for example, here:

    A planned union protest has prompted airport officials to advise people to add an extra 90 minutes to their arrival time if they plan to drive to LAX Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Los Angeles International Airport officials Monday advised people heading to the airport on Wednesday to expect a longer-than-usual drive, thanks to a planned union march on Century Boulevard.

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

    Members of the Service Employees International Union are planning to march on Century Boulevard for about three hours to protest what the union calls unfair labor practices by an airport contractor, Aviation Safeguards.

    There are similar statements in other news outlets.  See also here and here and here.  

    It seems to me that the whole reason for an action such as this (especially when you are dealing with a public entity like an airport) is to get the public on your side.  And that means winning the messaging war.  If travelers believe that this demonstration adds, as has been repeatedly reported, 90 minutes to their ordeal, or if people actually miss flights because of any delay, it seems to me this may be counterproductive.  You don't want to schedule something like this if its main effect is to make the public angry at you.  

    •  It's called, "Working the refs." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JayBat, Egalitare, a2nite

      Plan for delays during the Thanksgiving week travel period, but blame them on union workers.  Best of both worlds that way:  Management need not take extra mitigation measures, and they're one step closer to removing unions from the picture.

      •  No, this particular delay is due to union workers. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, VClib

        They are planning to physically block parts of Century Boulevard. Maybe they should have thought of a better way of accomplishing their goal without pissing everyone off.

      •  Well, it depends on what kind of delays. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        valion, VClib

        It appears that SEIU is going to be protesting alone the busiest routes that get you to and from the airport.  So the delays getting to and from the airport are going to be blamed on SEIU.  If someone has to leave 90 minutes earlier than the previous recommendation that you get there 2 hours in advance, they are probably going to blame the extra 90 minutes on the SEIU. And if someone doesn't get the message, and it takes that person an extra 90 minutes just to get to the airport, and that extra 90 minutes getting to the airport causes the person to miss his flight, that person is going to blame the SEIU.

        Separate delays once you get into the airport (the long lines for baggage check in, for example) aren't going to be blamed on SEIU.  

        Of course the union had to know that protesting along the busiest route getting to the airport on the busiest traffic day of the year was going to slow traffic.  I'm no traffic expert and I could figure that one out.  And if you do something that slows traffic, you must expect to be blamed for slowing traffic.  

        After all, if they were doing nothing to slow traffic today, management couldn't blame them for slowing traffic.  

  •  Ugh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dkosdan, Utahrd, VClib

    I was an SEIU member for years and years. I love them and support all their work; we had good jobs, stable benefits and they did a terrific job in negotiating our contracts.  I supported and still support their strikes, rare as they are any more.


    IMHO many of the unions still use 1950's tactics like this and it's a big mistake. This isn't going to garner any support from the public. In fact, it will cause great resentment.

    And why oh why do the unions persist in these rallies all wearing identiical hideous T-shirts?  Jesus H. Christ on a pogo stick -- look like the professionals that you are!!!! Have some awareness of the optics -- do they think that photo up there with overweight persons in hideous T-shirts is going to excite passengers trying to get to their family dinners while dodging some chanting, sign-holding, intimidating people? I don't think so.

    The unions need to update their organizing tactics -- badly!  Having Trumka front and center -- and God bless him for the work that he does -- is a bad idea. They need to get some lessons on messaging that reflect the dire situation of the unions here in the 21st century. People no longer automatically support union efforts, and the unions need to find a way to put out a message that will garner public support.

    For example. We get great public support from the New York Times demonstration. Great public support, and media support, for the Hostess situation -- thanks in large part to our brother bluebarnstormer. Great, great media presence. But this OWS thing in Oakland? Another story. And this dumbass SEIU thing? Bad, bad idea.

    /end of rant

  •  Beyond stupid.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, nextstep

    My Facebook and Twitter feeds are full of comments from normally left-leaning Angelenos who are righteously pissed off at SEIU right now.

    Today is not a win for the union movement in Los Angeles.

  •  They are going to force "closing down roads" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to and from the airport according to this report, by marching in the roads.  

    This is worse than I assumed in my comment above.  

    If they wanted to be seen, by protesting along the side of the roads, that would not have been as bad -- it would have slowed things down, with people looking, but not shut down roads.

    But marching in the middle of a primary access road to LAX on the busiest travel day of the year is beyond stupid, it seems to me.  It seems certain to turn a bunch of people against them.  

    •  Sometimes protesters focus more on the good (0+ / 0-)

      feelings they get from each other from the protest than winning others over to their point of view.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 10:19:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Irony. "We support labor as long as labor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Egalitare

    Actions don't inconvenience us as consumers."  

    "Let's see what fresh fuckwittery these dolts can contrive to torment themselves with this time." -- Iain Banks, The Hydrogen Sonata

    by Rikon Snow on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:15:01 AM PST

  •  Even an airport can be Outsourced (0+ / 0-)

    A "living wage" is a lot lower out at what used to be Norton AFB and George AFB.

    And these airports are in areas of high unemployment.

    If landing fees go up to pay higher wages, airlines will either:  

    - Look to adding flights to cheaper airports like Ontario.

     - Cut their own workers salaries and benefits.

  •  Wal-Mart workers are striking too! (0+ / 0-)
    OUR Walmart, an advocacy group made up of Wal-Mart employees, has filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board accusing the world's largest retailer of illegally making threats to stop its workers from protesting on Black Friday.

    The complaint centers around comments from Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar, who said Monday on the "CBS Evening News" that "there could be consequences" for workers who skip out on scheduled shifts on the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days of the year

  •  We have a 8:40pm flight from LAX (0+ / 0-)

    Not looking forward to the chaos!

    The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past - Milan Kundera

    by Suvro on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:27:31 AM PST

  •  LA Times online survey (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coffeetalk, nextstep

    Running 90/10 anti-union regarding LAX demonstrations today.

    This really is a horrible PR event for the SEIU.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 11:49:59 AM PST

  •  This seems deeply stupid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Even if there is no strike, travelers are likely to see the rallies and blame the union for inevitable delays.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Wed Nov 21, 2012 at 01:43:56 PM PST

  •  And now for another side of the story - (0+ / 0-)

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