A city-employee union threatening pickets this weekend at Los Angeles International Airport appealed to the head of the county Federation of Labor to help in dealing with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Bob Aquino, business manager of the Engineers and Architects Association, called on Martin Ludlow – secretary-treasurer of the union group and a close ally of Villaraigosa – to help as the group seeks a new contract with the city. Aquino is seeking a contract that would match the deal given earlier this year to Department of Water and Power workers – a guaranteed 3.25 percent annual raise, with an escalator clause to reflect inflation. The city offer is the same it has given other non-sworn unions, with no increase for the first year, and raises of 2.5 percent a year for each of the following two years. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Villaraigosa has said he does not believe the city can afford to give more because of a projected $248 million deficit it is facing next year. Neither Aquino nor Ludlow could be reached for comment Wednesday about specifics of what they discussed. Aides familiar with the discussions said Aquino was asking for Ludlow’s support of the 8,000-member union as well as intervening with Villaraigosa to try to get some movement in contract talks. The EAA is planning a demonstration and informational picket line at Terminal 1 of LAX from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. on Sunday as residents return home from the Thanksgiving holiday. Organizers said they hope to have 300 workers on the lines. Negotiations between the city and the EAA – which represents workers in city departments including airport, harbor and building and safety – have reached an impasse with officials in the midst of a negotiating procedure known as fact-finding. Villaraigosa said he is willing to meet with the union leadership, but said he believes the city has made a reasonable offer to the union. Aquino, however, said the city’s offer does not reflect increases in inflation and his workers would end up with less buying power. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!