A protest at Los Angeles International Airport was underway Tuesday, the second of two local protests that are part of a national wave of demonstrations by fast-food, home-care, child-care and other workers in support of a $15-per-hour wage and worker's rights.
Organizers, including the Service Employees International Union, said the demonstrations are being held in response to the recent election of politicians "who threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right."
Shortly before noon, two groups of demonstrators gathered on the Upper Level at LAX, with one group on the north side and the other group on the south side, marching toward the Tom Bradley International Terminal, according to an LAX statement.
"No impact to flight operations has been reported," the statement said. "No impact to traffic in the Central Terminal Area has been reported."
According organizers, the protests "will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers' rights or health care, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15."
The first protest began about 6 a.m. at Seventh and Alameda streets in downtown Los Angeles. About an hour into the rally, protesters blocked the intersection of Seventh and Alameda streets and police arrested 40 of them, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. News footage indicated the arrests were a low-force affair.
According to protest organizers, the LAX action is planned to send a message to airlines "that it's time they take responsibility for those whose dedication and hard work help to generate $36 billion in profits for the aviation industry."
LAX officials advised people planning to travel to the airport to give themselves extra time. Flight operations were not expected to be affected by the protests, but the demonstrations in the Central Terminal Area could cause some intermittent delays or lane closures on the lower/arrivals level.
Because demonstrators were bused to the area, Airport Boulevard was ordered closed between Century and 98th Street from 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m.