Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Cabin cleaners, attendants and other non-city ground workers at Los Angeles International Airport will begin a three-day liquid fast Monday at the height of the Thanksgiving travel season to protest what they say is the practice of some employers denying breaks or stealing wages from their workers.

Nearly a dozen employees of two companies that hold contracts with the airport say they’ll ingest only liquids at Tom Bradley International Terminal for the next three days. They’ll spend most of their time at the newly renovated terminal, but they’ll sleep at a nearby church.

Aside from bringing attention to their plight, the labor action was not expected to interfere with holiday week flight operations.

Tim Maddox, executive board member of SEIU-USWW, a union that represents many of the workers at LAX, alleged the two companies “are violating workers rights, whether it be around breaks, stolen break money,” or refusing to negotiate union contracts.

Maddox, who works at LAX as a wheelchair attendant, said the workers are taking part in the fast to tell the two companies, airlines and Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX, that “we want responsible contractors, people that are going to do the right thing by the workers and by the public.”

He added that problems are occurring amid more pressure on short-staffed cabin cleaners to clean airplanes quicker, with airlines needing faster turnaround because more flights are being scheduled.

Representatives of the two companies could not be reached for comment.

—City News Service

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