New York, NY—JFK Airport security officers today called off their strike after the Port Authority intervened.
“Earlier today, the Port Authority asked us to call off our strike and, more importantly, asked the contractors to meet with us,” Prince Jackson, a security officer for Air Serv, told a rally of workers and community supporters at JFK Airport. “Both Air Serv and Global Elite have agreed to meet so tonight we are calling off the strike for now and look forward to discussing our concerns with the contractors.”
The workers responded to a statement by Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye asking the sides to meet and resolve their differences.
Southeast Queens community members and leaders, including clergy, were planning a rally to support the security officers, who were preparing to begin a strike in two days. Instead, it turned into a celebration.
The security officers at Global and Air Serv are forming a labor organization to fight against suppression of their rights.
Jackson said security officers at JFK like him would prefer not to strike but Air Serv had left them no choice by illegally attempting to silence workers.
New York elected officials, faith leaders, and their own employees urged Air Serv and Global Elite to work out a solution that addresses the safety concerns officers raised and affirms airport workers’ right to raise public safety concerns that affects them, other airport staff, and passengers.
Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senators Toby Ann Stavisky and Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., and New York City Council Deputy Majority Leader Leroy Comrie are among a dozen elected officials who have supported the officers’ efforts to correct safety and security concerns.
Jackson reminded everyone at the rally to stay tuned and continue to support the workers.
“We ask all of our supporters to continue to stand up for improving airport jobs so that workers like me can have a voice in improving safety and security at JFK,” he said. “Our fight is not over. We will need you to help make sure we get a meaningful resolution with the security contractors that will allow airport workers to best serve the public, our families, and our community.”
With more than 125,000 members in eight states and Washington, D.C., including 70,000 members in New York, 32BJ SEIU is the largest union of property service workers in the country and the largest private sector union in the states.
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