Today more than 500 airport workers at Philadelphia International Airport have gone on strike to protest PrimeFlight’s low wages and unfair labor practices. The action is expected to be the largest strike in the three-year history of SEIU’s airport workers campaign. It comes just days before the same workers set to join fast food, home care and other workers in a day of action on April 15.
In New York, and across the country, PrimeFlight employees will stand in solidarity with their striking brothers and sisters in Philadelphia. In New York, PrimeFlight employees will march into LaGuardia airport to send a delegation to their employer PrimeFlight and the airlines it services— U.S. Airways and American Airlines. They will deliver a solidarity message to these companies in order to bring attention the health and safety and wage and hour abuses that airport workers in New York and New Jersey have endured while working for PrimeFlight.
When: Thursday April 2, 2015. 11:30 a.m.
Who: PrimeFlight wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers, customer service agents, sky caps and cabin cleaners who work at LaGuardia and Newark Airports.
Where: LaGuardia Airport, Terminal B arrivals. Meet up in parking lot 1.
Why: PrimeFlight is a Nashville-based company that contracts with airlines to provide ground handling, aircraft cleaning and terminal/passenger services to airlines at 44 airports nationwide. While PrimeFlight is the beneficiary of various public subsidies, the company pays its workers poverty wages and does not provide affordable benefits, forcing many to rely on public assistance to survive. In New York PrimeFlight employees have also filed various lawsuits and complaints against their employer for health and safety violations and wage theft. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited PrimeFlight for five Health & Safety violations at Newark Airport. PrimeFlight wheelchair attendants, baggage handlers, customer service agents, sky caps and cabin cleaners have been fighting alongside 12,000 other subcontracted airport workers in New York and New Jersey for higher wages, benefits and the right to union representation. They are part of a growing mass movement of airport workers who have been organizing in cities around the country who are standing in solidarity with Philly airport workers today. They say, “Enough is enough. PrimeFlight, make airport jobs good jobs!”
Visuals: Airport workers marching through LaGuardia Airport to deliver a violation ticket to their employer.
With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.