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Thousand workers ready to strike at United and American Airlines' hubs

Staff Writer | July 12, 2017
Over a thousand baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants, and skycaps are ready to strike at Philadelphia International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia International Airport, JFK International Airport, and Denver International Airport and could walk off their jobs any day this week.
Philadelphia International Airport
Air travel   A fair contract and unfair labor practices
These contracted airport workers are protesting their employers' refusal to bargain a fair contract and unfair labor practices, including threats, intimidation and retaliation when they tried to join together to win higher pay by exercising their freedom to form a union.

"Despite winning our union by a landslide, the airline contractors are refusing to bargain with us," says Rachel Sirleaf, a cabin cleaner with American Airlines contractor Prospect Air Services at Philadelphia International Airport.

"The contractors should respect our right to a union so we are better able to provide for our families."

Last year, Philadelphia airport workers made international headlines after staging a massive protest and work stoppage ahead of the DNC taking place in Philadelphia.

The turbulence at the airport prompted Philadelphia Mayor Kenney and Pennsylvania Governor Wolf to step in and call on American Airlines to demand better practices from its contractors.

Despite anti-union bullying and intimidation from PrimeFlight and Prospect, Philadelphia airport workers prevailed this spring when they voted overwhelmingly to join their union, 32BJ SEIU.

Yet months later, American Airlines' contractors, PrimeFlight and Prospect—emboldened by President Trump—are erecting yet another hurdle for the airport workers by refusing to bargain a contract.

Their refusal to bargain a contract has been encouraged by American Airlines, whose CEO, Doug Parker recently stated that they are waiting for the labor board to change under President Trump so that the contracted airport workers will be stripped of their union rights.

"The American people need good jobs, and that means having the opportunity to join together in a union.

There are thousands of jobs right here at our nation's airports that can and should be good union jobs that allow working people to raise their families and save for the future - like they used to be," says Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU.

"It's time major airlines support good pay and the opportunity to form a union instead of fighting working people every step of the way."


 

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