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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Union Worker Protests May Delay LAX Travel

People heading to LAX tomorrow should expect long delays.

LAX officials are warning people heading to the airport on the eve of Thanksgiving to expect delays.

Travelers await their flights outside LAX.
Travelers await their flights outside LAX.

Officials warned travelers flying domestically to arrive two hours before their scheduled travel time. Those traveling internationally should arrive three hours in advance, according to airport officials. Officials also said that anyone driving to the airport between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. should add an additional hour and a half to their travel time.

The Service Employees International Union will march on Century Boulevard Wednesday afternoon.

Members of the SEIU will protest what they call unfair labor practices by airport contractor, Aviation Safeguards. 

Union workers said they expect the protest to last about three hours and estimate approximately 1,000 marchers to attend.

A spokesperson for AVSG  said the people involved in the protest do not work for Aviation Safeguards and added that most don't even work for LAX.

The employees of Aviation Safeguard voted to end their relationship with SEIU in December, 2011, but workers remained dissatisfied with the agreement.

The AVSG spokesperson also said if the Union wants to hold a vote, they can do it at anytime. The company is not opposed to the idea of representation and employees are happier now because they're earning 2 million more per year than they were SEIU, said the spokesperson. 

“We voted to cancel our agreement with SEIU because they took our money and did nothing for us,” said Edgar Rivas, an Aviation Safeguards security guard. “Now we earn more money, and have more health care options. Honestly, we’re so glad to be free of SEIU.”

Travelers aren't happy with the delays that tomorrow's march may cause.

"I think they picked a pretty bad time to protest," said Justin Le, a junior at New York University who will arrive at LAX during the scheduled protest. "Everyone wants to see their family and they're trying to get home. That should be their priority," he said.

"I'm sure they have their reasons for protesting, but they should postpone it until after Thanksgiving," said Le.

Many USC students that ATVN spoke with decided to leave Tuesday night to beat the rush before the holidays.

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