Eight Arrested in LAX Labor Demonstration Over Wage Negotiations

Workers marched outside the airport to demand fair contracts, causing some traffic but no airline delays or cancellations.

Eight people were arrested when more than 1,000 workers and union members marched outside Los Angeles International Airport on Thursday afternoon to demand fair wages for airport employees.

The Service Employees International Union, which represents about 2,400 LAX service workers, planned the act of civil disobedience as contract negotiations are under way between airlines and service employees.

"Hopefully today’s events will improve things at the bargaining table," said Jacob Hay, a spokesman for the union. "If not, workers are ready to keep standing up for their jobs."

Hay said airlines are proposing wage freezes and cuts to family health care, and that workers would not have enough to support themselves or their families.

The demonstration began about 11:30 a.m. and caused heavy traffic within the airport’s central terminal area, LAX said in a statement, but no airline delays or cancellations were reported.

Demonstrators converged outside the airport administration building and remained for about 20 minutes before police ordered them to depart, Hay said.

LAX police made arrests of eight people, including SEIU-USWW president David Huerta, the union tweeted.

LAX Airport Police Sgt. Belinda Nettles said the arrests were peaceful and no other issues arose as a result of the demonstration aside from the traffic.

At about 1:30 p.m. the demonstrators boarded buses and left.

Contract negotiations will continue over the weekend, Hay said. The current contract will expire next week.

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