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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
One minute the long, low room is an expanse of white floor. Then the human cargo of a jumbo jet spills out and the basement of the Tom Bradley International Terminal becomes a factory for moving people into America. The passengers stack up behind a row of immigration stations that function like cattle chutes. Passing through one by one, the passengers crowd around a carousel to pick up baggage, then rush to another row of chutes manned by agriculture and customs officers.
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
Three decades ago, a girl of 12 read a book about stewardesses and became enamored. She wanted to be one of those freewheeling, high-flying stews. Eighteen years of hard work in the skies dissolved some of the "Coffee, Tea or Me" dreams of Jillian McNary's youth and forged a mature flight attendant. The smoke and ashes of Sept. 11 provided the final burial of the stewardess image. Passengers have recognized the transformation since the terrorist attacks.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2001 | DOUG SMITH and JENNIFER OLDHAM, Times Staff Writers
Det. Paul Robi got the tattoo just days after the terrorist attacks: a large American flag that covers one thick biceps. "I'm prepared to give my life for people I don't know," the bomb squad member and father of four declares matter-of-factly. The LAPD opened a new office for the squad at Los Angeles International Airport two weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks. On Sept.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 9, 2001 | DOUG SMITH and JENNIFER OLDHAM, Times Staff Writers
Some days only one or two show up. Other days there are so many he has to see them in strained, 20-minute sessions that stretch all day long. Since Sept. 11, 255 workers have been tapped on the shoulder by a supervisor on the floor of the giant kitchen near the airport and told: Report to Human Resources. In his office, Ramsey Salomon waits for them, knowing they know what's coming. Before handing them the formal letter, he explains in simple terms that they are no longer needed.
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.
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