Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) service workers employed by contractors for United and Virgin Airlines are among the first to receive improved access to health care under a “living wage” law amendment approved by the City Council earlier this year.

Airline service contractor Air Serv, which provides services to United and Virgin Airlines, announced that it is the first contractor at LAX to implement the affordable family health care requirement under the living wage amendment passed in September. Five other contractors — Aviation Safeguards, G2, APS, World Service, and ABM — remain in negotiations with service workers on the implementation of the new health benefits.

The law requires employers to provide health benefits to LAX service workers or pay them an hourly living wage of $14.80. The amendment is intended to serve as a financial incentive to provide family health care to airport workers.

The service workers perform various duties such as cleaning and searching airplanes, working as security guards and greeting passengers at terminals.

“Air Serv has taken leadership in showing how important it is to move quickly to get health care coverage for workers at the airport,” said Hays Witt, coordinator for Airport Workers at SEIU United Service Workers West. “This is an important step for workers that interact with thousands of passengers every day and for the safety of the airport.”

Service workers have long expressed concern for their health and the safety of their family members given their exposure to thousands of passengers from around the nation and across the world.

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