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The Real Thanksgiving Turkey? SEIU’s Failed LAX Demonstration

A labor demonstration orchestrated by the Service Employees International Union brought delays of up to 90 minutes to Thanksgiving travelers at Los Angeles International Aierport.

According to the Orange County Registe, union leaders say the demonstration was a consequence of the “400 airport workers [that were] left without a contract earlier this year when Aviation Safeguards, a unit of Command Security Corp. of Parsippany, N.J., terminated contracts with the Service Employees International Union and withdrew all health insurance.”

But there may be other motivations on the part of SEIU. Aviation Safeguards employees voted to sever their affiliation with the union and were not part of the planned demonstration. According to Frederick McNeil of the contractor group:

We petitioned to leave the SEIU almost a year ago, and the contract ended. And now they’re bringing in outsiders to block travelers who are just trying to get home for the holidays. It’s ridiculous. People need to understand that SEIU doesn’t speak for the employees at Aviation Safeguards.

The union’s rationale for intentionally choosing to picket on the busiest travel day of the year? “This is a week when Americans are supposed to come together and celebrate prosperity with their families, but the workers who make that possible – for people to get to their families – are suffering badly,” said Andrew Gross-Gaitan, SEIU SOCAL Airports Division director, in a Fox News Alert interview. “What kind of a Thanksgiving are those workers going to have that don’t have insurance?”

Ironically, Andres Cazares, who has been with Aviation Safeguards for 19 years, said the majority of marchers “will not even be LAX employees. They don't work here, and they don't know our company." His colleague, Edgar Rivas, told KCAL9 his healthcare has improved since the firm's workers broke from  and that the union has attempted to intimidate employees to rejoin the union.

Hours of traffic delays and 13 arrested protesters later, the union’s contract has not been restored -- and  Aviation Safeguards employees remain opposed to rejoining.