LOS ANGELES (CNS) – Cabin cleaners, attendants and other workers at Los Angeles International Airport will begin a three-day-long fast today, at the height of the Thanksgiving travel season, to protest what they say is the practice of employers to withhold breaks or steal wages from their workers.

Nearly a dozen employees for two airport contractors, Aviation Safeguards and Scientific Concepts, are scheduled to subsist only on liquids inside Tom Bradley International Terminal for the next three days and sleep at a nearby church.

Tim Maddox, executive board member of SEIU-USWW, a union that represents many of the workers at LAX, said 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 they 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.”

Scientific Concepts still has a license to operate at LAX even though the state labor standards enforcement department has fined the company $963,000 for wage theft, SEIU-USWW  representatives said in a statement.

Maddox said Aviation Safeguards has been unwilling to enter into a union contract with employees. He added that these 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.

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