Workers rally in Los Angeles demanding rights, higher minimum wage

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- Workers from service industries held rallies in Los Angeles on Tuesday to demand rights and a minimum wage of 15 U.S. dollars per hour.

The rallies were part of a U.S. national wave of demonstrations by fast-food chain, homecare and other workers in support of a 15-dollar-per-hour minimum wage and worker's rights.

Two groups of demonstrators gathered on the upper level at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at noon, with one group on the north side and the other group on the south side, marching toward the Tom Bradley International Terminal, according to an LAX statement.

Neither flight operations nor Central Terminal Area traffic were affected, airport spokeswoman Nancy Castles said.

Organizers of the demonstration said that the demonstrators "will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers' rights or health care, deport immigrants or support racism or racist policies will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for 15 Dollars."

The "Fight for 15 Dollars" campaign reportedly began in the United Statesin November 2012, when fast-food workers staged strikes to demand a higher minimum wage, a demand that later spread to other sectors.

The federal minimum wage stands at 7.25 dollars per hour, but workers have won 15 dollars per hour in some jurisdictions, including the state of California and Seattle.

Castles said demonstrators left the Central Terminal Area around noon, later marched along Century Boulevard and held a rally on a closed block-long section of Airport Boulevard, which was re-opened more than one hour later, she said.

Early Tuesday morning, some demonstrators gathered in downtown Los Angeles and blocked the intersection of Seventh and Alameda streets and police arrested 40 of them, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

The protest organizers said that the LAX action was planned to send a message to airlines "that it's time they take responsibility for those whose dedication and hard work help to generate 36 billion dollars in profits for the aviation industry."

Many of the demonstrators at the LAX rally and march arrived and left aboard buses.

[ Editor: Jiaming ]


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