Union march could delay LAX travelers, officials say

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Southland officials warned travelers Wednesday about potential delays on the way to Los Angeles International Airport. Streets are expected to be clogged due to a planned union march that organizers claim will attract more than 1,500 people.

Airport employees, Uber and Lyft drivers and other Southland workers are expected to march at 10 a.m. to demand that elected officials pledge their support for the “Unions for All” movement.

The march will start at the intersection of Century Boulevard and Avion Drive, and organizers said the procession will make its way into the Central Terminal Area, with participants expected to walk into one or more airport terminals, most notably Terminal 1.

Los Angeles World Airports officials said the demonstration is not expected to affect any flight operations, but at least two lanes of westbound Century Boulevard are expected to be closed between Airport and Sepulveda boulevards. Motorists were advised to use alternate routes, such as Sepulveda Boulevard and Westchester Parkway.

Additional traffic officers and Airport Police officers will be on hand, airport officials said. The march is expected to last until about 1 p.m.

Among the dignitaries expected to join the marchers are presidential hopeful and California Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, former state Sen. Kevin de Leon and Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union.

According to SEIU officials, the march will send the message that employees in the airline, ride-hailing, childcare and other industries who help make corporations successful are struggling to afford rent and basic necessities. Organizers said they will call for a commitment from elected officials and political candidates to give “everyone the opportunity to have a union.”

The march will also voice support for newly signed state legislation that makes it more difficult for employers to designate workers as independent contractors, making them essentially ineligible for benefits. Uber and Lyft officials strongly opposed the measure and have indicated they hope to find exemptions to the law, which goes into effect in January.

Wednesday’s march comes one day before the Unions for All summit, which is scheduled for Thursday through Sunday at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles. SEIU members from around the county are expected to attend.

The summit was scheduled to feature discussions with Democratic presidential candidates, including Harris, former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. But Sanders won’t be there; a campaign spokesman says Sanders experienced some chest discomfort during a campaign event Tuesday night, was found to have a blockage in one artery, and two stents were successfully inserted.

The 78-year-old Sanders is now hospitalized in Las Vegas, and the plan is for him to rest over the coming days.

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