Firings, Threats, Arbitrary Punishments Airport Workers Protest “House of Horrors” at PHL

Firings, Threats, Arbitrary Punishments Airport Workers Protest “House of Horrors” at PHL

PHILADELPHIA-Following the recent firings of several of their co-workers, airport workers at the Philadelphia International Airport will protest Thursday at 2:30pm at to call attention to the abuses they experience at the hands of their employers, airline subcontractors: McGinn Security, Prospect, Prime Flight and Swissport.

Days before Halloween, workers says the airport is always a horror show for the 2,000 subcontracted workers who clean planes, secure the terminals, handle bags and help passengers to their gates. The workers are employed by subcontractors who are hired directly by the airlines.

After a long fight with the city and the airlines, many of the workers finally secured a $12 an hour wage earlier this summer. Despite this landmark victory, workers have found that poor treatment by their employers has gotten worse since receiving the higher wages.

Airport workers will march through the airport to draw attention to their poor treatment from their subcontractors. In the last month an increasing number of subcontracted workers have been unjustly fired or punished, among them:

  • Tom Zoker, a Prospect wheelchair attendant who spoke out for the $12 minimum wage was fired after missing work due to his National Guard service during the papal visit.
  • Qwaneisha Gaither, a security officer for McGinn Security, was threatened with termination for speaking to the union and later fired after she missed work to tend to her infant daughter in the ER.
  • Walter McMillen, a McGinn Security worker who was fired for letting a passenger through security with a bag that was too large.

WHAT: “We Live in Fear” Airport Workers Protest and march

WHERE: Protest begins at B/C Terminal departure side, March through the airport to Terminal F

WHEN: Thursday, October, 29 at 2:30pm

VISUALS: Signs, Trick or Treats

Background:

On Thursday, October 29, contracted airport workers will hold coordinated actions at major airports across the country to call on their employers and the airlines they serve to put an end to the horrors taking place at our nation’s airports.

Around the country airport workers are subjected to unfathomable working conditions that are straight out of a horror movie. In many instances, the real life stories of airport workers are more horrific than Hollywood could imagine, sometimes even resulting in the loss of innocent lives. More than 100 people have been killed in airport ramp accidents since 2001.

The Halloween day of action is the first in a series of nationwide actions by airport workers who pledged last week at the first national airport worker convention in Washington, D.C., to do whatever it takes to win $15 and union rights to make our airports safe and secure for workers and the traveling public.

With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 22,000 in Pennsylvania, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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