News | April 6, 2017

Environmental Groups Call On Sky Chefs At LAX To Follow Pollution Rules, Says UNITE HERE


As President Trump rolls back environmental regulations, Los Angeles International Airport workers, members of the surrounding community, and California statewide environmental justice leaders are calling on LAX airline catering company LSG Sky Chefs to comply with existing airport air quality standards.

“More than a decade ago, LAWA adopted tough standards for contractors, lessees, permittees and others who do business at Los Angeles International Airport. LAWA committed to requiring those companies to transition to trucks, shuttles, passenger vans and buses that cause less air pollution,” wrote Joseph K. Lyou, Ph.D., President & CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air, in a letter to LAWA signed by 14 environmental, public health and community leaders. “Some of [Sky Chefs] vehicles are nearly two decades old and need replacement urgently, but the new vehicles Sky Chefs has acquired are not alternative fuel vehicles. This company isn’t even trying.”

Only two vehicles out of LSG Sky Chefs’ 16-vehicle fleet are clean energy vehicles, according to a July 2016 report, contributing to poor air quality in and around the airport. Existing LAX policies state that 100 percent of vehicles operated by any airport contractors must be alternative-fuel vehicles.

LAX is the largest source of carbon monoxide in California. According to a 2008 study, 42 percent of nitrogen oxides, 63 percent of volatile organic compounds, and 90 percent of particulates around the airport are the result of ground-access vehicle traffic. These air pollutants are strongly connected to increases in cases of asthma, respiratory disease, and heart disease.

Also at today’s Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Board meeting, LSG Sky Chefs employees from Seattle and Miami testified to the company’s disputes over enforcement of local wage laws. The City of Seattle found that Sky Chefs is violating the local minimum wage law and owes current and former workers more than $300,000, which the company appealed and has not paid. In Miami, Sky Chefs has been in a dispute over the applicability of the county’s living wage ordinance since 2006.

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