Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) service workers received medical screenings July 9th at a “Clinic in the Streets” outside the airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Representatives of the Reaching Higher for Healthcare Coalition, which organized the clinic, claimed that the airport workers’ lack of adequate family healthcare was the need for their “Health Un-Fair.”
The clinic, staffed by Vasek Polak Health Clinic of Torrance and South Bay Family Healthcare, conducted blood pressure tests, glucose tests and other preventive care measures for the contracted airline service workers at LAX.
While airport workers received check-ups, the Reaching Higher for Healthcare Coalition held a press conference on the sidewalk where workers and health advocates spoke in favor of an amendment to the Los Angeles “living wage” ordinance which is currently being considered by the City Council.
“We’re asking the City Council to make sure that people who work at LAX, which is a major Los Angeles public facility, have healthcare coverage,” said Nancy Gomez, regional organizer for Health Access, a healthcare advocacy organization. “These workers do important work keeping our airport safe and secure. We should ensure that they are safe as well.”
Airline service workers are responsible for jobs such as cleaning and searching airplanes and assisting passengers in wheelchairs — jobs which they claim frequently expose them to illness and injury.
According to a Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) study, an estimated 5,100 LAX workers and their family members lack employer-provided healthcare. Roughly 2,000 receive taxpayer-funded care, while 3,100 people have no healthcare at all, including 700 children, the study shows.
“We can help perhaps a few dozen workers at this health fair, but airport workers deserve better,” said Carolina Briones, author of the LAANE report. “The current situation is unacceptable and we need to change it, not just for these workers, but for the passengers who depend on them.”