A demonstration at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on behalf of airport workers on Wednesday drew non-airport workers who really had no idea what they were even protesting. The protest was staged during one of the busiest travel days of the year, disrupting traffic and frustrating travelers. Dozens of protesters were reportedly arrested.
“The Service Employees International Unit (SEIU) – which represents janitors, wheelchair attendants, skycaps, security guards and other service workers – obtained a permit to close down Century Boulevard for 45 minutes Wednesday afternoon, but several protesters were arrested for intentionally sitting on the street,” CBS Los Angeles reports.
SEIU leaders say 400 workers were left without a contract after LAX contractor Aviation Safeguards (AVSG) failed to honor its agreement with the airport earlier this year. But the catch here is, 52 percent of union workers voted to switch to Aviation Safeguard from SEUI about a year ago, seeking better benefits.
CBS Los Angeles caught up with a few non-airport workers and asked them why they were protesting and whether they were aware that not all airport employees agreed with SEIU. The responses were…well why don’t you just watch for yourself.
CBS Los Angeles provides a transcript:
KCAL9’s Dave Lopez spoke with several protesters who weren’t aware of the battle among the two labor unions.
“Do you work at the airport?” he asked one woman.
“No, I don’t work at the airport, but I’m supporting them,” she said.
“What do you do then, if I may ask?” he questioned.
“I work in retail,” she answered.
“OK, but you’re just here to support?” he inquired.
“Yeah, just to support,” she responded.
“But you understand that there is a big union battle going on, or that doesn’t matter?” he asked.
“No, it does matter,” she replied.
“Okay, because I heard that a lot of union members don’t want this. You don’t know about that?” he questioned.
“No,” she said.
Lopez then interviewed another woman who also seemed unaware most workers are against the SEIU.
“Are you a union employee for the airport?” he asked.
‘No,” she said.
“Who do you work for?” Lopez asked.
“For Macy’s,” she responded.
“OK, but you’re here to what?” he asked.
“To support,” she said.
“To support, but you don’t know anything about the fact that a lot of the union members who work for the airport don’t want this to happen?” he questioned.
“No,” she answered.
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