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Airport Workers To Protest Over Lost Health Care Benefits

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(credit: Getty Images)

(credit: Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — More than 200 airport workers plan to stage a noisy demonstration Monday in departure terminals at LAX to protest what they say is a decision by their employer to cancel their contract and take away their health benefits.

The protesters, so-called United Service Workers represented by the Service Employees International Union, are employed by Aviation Safeguards, a contractor that supplies passenger-services workers at LAX. Headquartered at 8929 S. Sepulveda Boulevard in Los Angeles, the company is a subsidiary of Command Security Corp. of Lagrangeville, N.Y.

Monday’s protest was prompted by a recent announcement by Aviation Safeguards that it “is terminating its contract with employees and as a result, workers will lose their health care benefits on Feb. 1,” the Good Jobs LA coalition said in a statement announcing plans for the demonstration. Neither the contractor nor its parent company could immediately be reached to comment on the reported contract cancellation.

The protesters plan to assemble at 1:30 p.m. on the departure level outside terminals 6 and 7 and carry signs, chant and bang drums “while marching through LAX terminals,” the statement said.

It said that Aviation Safeguards was electing to hurt its employees even though the four airlines that represent its four top clients at LAX “reported more than $2.5 billion in net profits last year.”

“Aviation Safeguards is leading a race to the bottom by the greediest 1 percent at LAX to make even bigger profits by breaking agreements with workers and taking away health care,” said Mike Garcia, president of SEIU United Service Workers.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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