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Airport Workers

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2001 | DOUG SMITH and JENNIFER OLDHAM, Times Staff Writers
Los Angeles International Airport, Southern California's universal crossroads, still trembles in the shadow of Sept. 11. Flights have been canceled, commerce squelched, jobs slashed, terrorist scares endured. And individuals have faced their fears--of flying and of forces they cannot control. Three months into this new era, equilibrium emerges for a day or two at the giant airport, then dissolves again. Spilled nondairy creamer can still close down a terminal for hours.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2001 | DOUG SMITH and JENNIFER OLDHAM, Times Staff Writers
The lottery that is cabby Cesar Machado's life starts at the LAX holding lot at 96th Street and Sepulveda Boulevard. The lot accommodates 120 cars in 13 lanes. In good times, it's nearly always empty. Incoming cabs are immediately dispatched to terminals and waiting passengers. These are not good times, so the lot is more often full. Machado drags himself in just before noon, fighting a cough. He's had the flu for three days and would rather be home. He drives into an empty lane.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2001 | DOUG SMITH and JENNIFER OLDHAM, Times Staff Writers
Surrounded by family photos in her Hawthorne apartment, Martha Pinzon waits for her boss to call. Despite the lingering sadness, she's ready to get to work at the airport. For $7.92 an hour, she'll arrange a ride to LAX, wait in line with passengers to pass security and spend eight hours in the kitchen of Wolfgang Puck's, making salads, soup, sandwiches and pizza. "I like to work with all my friends," Pinzon says. The call doesn't come on this day. But that's OK.
BUSINESS
November 20, 2001 | NANCY CLEELAND, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Labor and community groups will funnel $3 million in aid to displaced hotel and airport workers in Los Angeles, with most of the money earmarked for maintaining health insurance coverage and avoiding evictions and foreclosures. The project, which is being funded by Kaiser Permanente, the nonprofit California Endowment and a joint labor-management health and welfare fund, will be announced today by labor unions, which are still working out the details, organizers said Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2001 | JEFFREY L. RABIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A group of workers at Los Angeles International Airport complained Tuesday that some companies have used post-Sept. 11 business declines as an excuse to lay off union activists. Union members from an airport restaurant, airline catering company and building maintenance firm told the city's Airport Commission that the businesses are violating union contracts and ignoring seniority when deciding who to lay off.
NEWS
November 8, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
Three security workers who allowed a man carrying knives, a stun gun and tear gas through a checkpoint at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport were fired, the private company that employed them said. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Saturday's lapse at the United Airlines checkpoint staffed by Argenbright Security Inc. employees.
NEWS
October 29, 2001 | JANET HOOK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Just one day after President Bush criticized airport security legislation that would require all baggage and passenger screeners to be federal employees, a top White House aide said Bush would nevertheless sign the bill if Congress approved it. "He wouldn't want to have to sign it, but he would," said Andrew H. Card Jr., White House chief of staff, on NBC's "Meet the Press."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 20, 2001 | From Times Wire Reports
San Francisco International Airport will use a fingerprint scanner to conduct employee background checks. The Federal Aviation Administration is requiring major airports to recheck the backgrounds of employees who have access to tarmacs or planes. Airport officials said the $40,000 scanning system should be installed within weeks, making it the ninth major airport in the nation to use the Identix TouchPrint 2000 technology. The system means background checks will take hours instead of weeks.
NEWS
October 18, 2001 | RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering airports and airlines to conduct criminal background checks on up to 1 million employees with access to aircraft, jetways and other secure areas, the agency's top official said Wednesday. Until now, such background checks had been required only for employees hired after December 2000 at the 20 largest airports.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 2001 | CARA MIA DiMASSA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After Kenneth Kokason, 47, retired from the Air Force two years ago, he decided to become an airline mechanic. It would be a good, steady job, he thought. It would mean applying the skills he acquired in the military, as a flight engineer, to a job in the private sector. But 10 months into his employment as an American Airlines maintenance technician, Kokason was standing in line at a job fair, looking for work. His job will be eliminated Friday, another casualty of the Sept. 11 attacks.
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