The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners Thursday approved an agreement with the union representing airport workers that includes commitments from LAX regarding the airport’s transition to electric vehicles and onsite renewable energy production.
The agreement, according to the board, is aimed at avoiding future litigation and administrative challenges during the airport’s Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project.
“We are really proud of the hard fought wins this agreement brings for those who work and live near LAX and the city of Los Angeles,” said David Huerta, president of Service Employees International Union United Service Workers West (SEIU-SWW).
“Our fight to improve working conditions of our Black and Brown workers includes battling climate change to ensure communities have healthy air to breathe in the years to come. We look forward to collaborating with the LAWA to implement the measures in this important agreement.”
Along with renewable energy commitments, the Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX, committed to implementing an on-demand Micro Transit Shuttle to service workers commuting to LAX, a carpool incentive program to reduce the monthly parking fee for LAX employees who carpool and a subsidized transit pass program for LAX employees to encourage them to take public transportation to work.
The airport also agreed to:
— provide $500,000 for a Ground Support Equipment incentive, including half starting in Fiscal Year 2023, to encourage old diesel ground support equipment to be retired and switch to electric;
— adopt within six months an updated Electric Vehicle Purchasing policy to require 100% of purchases of the airport’s light-duty sedan fleet to be electric by the end of 2031; and
— have LAWA generate 15% of its power onsite from renewable energy by 2035.
“Los Angeles World Airports is creating the world-class airport our city deserves, while at the same time being a good neighbor and ensuring sustainability is part of our projects. The Airfield and Terminal Modernization Project (ATMP) includes airfield and runway improvements, a new terminal and concourse on the airport’s existing footprint, and roadway improvements that help reduce local traffic congestion,” the Los Angeles World Airports said in a statement.
“The project will provide thousands of jobs and opportunities to businesses and residents and has sustainability elements included in every facet. This settlement agreement is consistent with our core values and shared goals, and we thank SEIU-USWW and Councilmember (Mike) Bonin for engaging in a productive dialog on the issues of importance to our communities and workers. The agreement is a win-win, and we can’ wait to deliver the future of LAX for our city.”
LAWA also agreed to participate in a health and exposure study on impacts on surrounding neighbors and workers to expose air pollution. The airport will share LAX air quality and other relevant data for the study.
LAWA will also enable to Bureau of Contract Administration to audit at least three companies per year — such as contracted companies that perform passenger service, baggage handling, security, cabin cleaning and more — to ensure they are complying with the Living Wage Ordinance and Worker Retention Ordinance. LAWA will also fund enhanced labor compliance outreach at the airport, including through one hour training to all employees working for companies at LAX.
“Building a world class airport at LAX means protecting the people who work in and near the airport,” Bonin said.
“I’m proud to have brokered this agreement between SEIU-USWW and airport leadership. It will ensure the city addresses workers’ longstanding concerns about equity and environmental justice, while also planning for a more sustainable connected and modern airport. Our workers deserve nothing less.”
SEIU-USWW said the agreement is the result of grassroots organizing and appeals over the last year led by airport workers, environmental groups and community organizations concerned about air quality, noise and longterm environmental and health impacts of the airport.