Truck drivers trying to make deliveries to and from cargo warehouses at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday could experience delays from labor protests scheduled to occupy portions of surrounding roadways.
The California local of the Service Employees International Union is organizing a demonstration to highlight how developers and big corporations are reaping financial benefits from existing rules, while their workers are having difficulty making ends meet. Between 1,000 to 2,000 union workers and supporters are expected to meet up across from the Sheraton Gateway at Century Blvd. and Avion Drive and then march to, and around, the horseshoe road that fronts the passenger terminals.
California Senator, and Democratic presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, is scheduled to address the crowd.
The meeting location is one block from a Mercury Air Cargo facility that serves All Nippon Airways, DB Schenker, Emirates SkyCargo, LATAM Airlines Cargo, IAG Cargo, Finnair and MasAir, among others. Trucks could be blocked from leaving or entering the depot, although another access road is also available.
The protest is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. and continue through 1 p.m. The airport authority said at least two lanes of westbound Century Blvd are expected to be closed between Airport Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd. during the event and urged passengers to allow extra time to reach the central terminal area.
The L.A. airport branch of logistics provider Team Worldwide has advised customers and other branch offices to expect delays and develop alternate routes for reaching cargo facilities, Bob Imbriani, vice president of international services, said in an email.
The march brings together several labor campaigns fighting for living wages and the ability to organize unions. The LAX location has added significance because the SEIU Airport Division is trying to pressure Southwest Airlines and American Airlines to reverse last year’s decision to switch to non-union contractors that employee service workers such as cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants, sky caps, ramp and ground crews and baggage handlers.
Several hundred Uber and Lyft drivers fighting to end the practice of being classified as independent contractors who lack the benefits of full-time employees will drive along with the marchers, organizers said. The Mobile Workers Alliance also seeks a $30 minimum wage for rideshare drivers, half to cover operating expenses. The “Fight for $15” movement, which has primarily targeted McDonald’s for better pay and union rights, will be represented too.
Marchers will demand leaders make Southwest, American, United Airlines, Uber and Lyft commit to allowing employees to form and join unions, organizers said.