Contracted Airport Workers Take MLK-Inspired Action in Cities Up and Down the East Coast
Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, airport workers in some of the nation’s busiest airports including JFK, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Reagan National, Miami, Boston and Philadelphia are rallying under the banner of “All Labor Has Dignity” and calling for improvements to health care and an end mistreatment from low-road contractors like American Airline’s, Eulen America.
“32BJ SEIU has answered MLK’s clarion call for justice by fighting each day to improve the lives of working people and has changed the lives of thousands of airport workers. The fight for quality, affordable healthcare through the Healthy Terminals Act is the next step in the mission. And as we fight to move forward for all workers—whether Black, white, brown or immigrant—we refuse to allow American Airlines contractor, Eulen America hold us back,” said 32BJ SEIU President Kyle Bragg.
The airport workers—mostly immigrant and African American—embody Dr. King’s fight for economic, racial and social justice. Inspired by Dr. King’s legacy, 17,000 airport workers have won their union 32BJ SEIU and tens of thousands more who have won wage raises as a result of their campaign.
While many contractors have worked with the union to improve wages and standards, Eulen America remains an outlier. American Airlines and Delta contracts with Eulen America at Miami International, JFK, Reagan National, Fort Lauderdale and other airports, to provide services like cabin cleaning, baggage handling, and more. Eulen has an alarming history of claims filed by its employees for alleged failure to pay overtime, alleged wage theft, contentions of discrimination and sexual harassment, and other unfair labor practices. Inspired by Dr. King’s vision that “all labor has dignity,” Eulen contracted airport workers are speaking out about the treatment and working conditions they experience every day.
Dr. King died supporting Memphis sanitation workers who were working under deplorable conditions and making what would be $11.41 per hour today. While airport workers up and down the east coast have made staggering progress over the last decade, low-road American Airlines’ contractors like Eulen American threaten to undermine everything they have fought so hard to achieve.
All Labor Has Dignity Airport Workers Week of Action
New York, JFK—
WHAT: New York Airport Workers Rally for ‘Healthy Terminals Act’ and call for rights and dignity for Eulen America workers
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 22, 12pm
WHERE: JFK Airport Terminal 8 Airtrain stop, bottom of escalator
WHAT: New Jersey Airport Workers Rally for ‘Healthy Terminals Act’
WHERE: Newark Liberty International Airport Terminal A Departures, Level 3, Door 3. Press parking available across from location.
WHAT: March in honor of MLK Day to demand protection of Broward Living Wage Law, as well as protest abusive working conditions under Eulen America, a Delta and Spirit airline contractor.
WHERE: Fort Lauderdale Welcome Park, 402 South Federal Highway
WHAT: MLK Day rally for an end to poverty wages at the Orlando Airport.
WHEN: Monday, January 20, 2020 at 10:00 am
Washington, D.C., DCA/National Airport—
WHAT: 32BJ and Eulen workers will be rallying at DCA to call on MWAA to investigate Eulen’s payment practices.
WHERE: Terrace B departures level at DCA by door 1 – 32BJ and airport workers (we don’t have elected or clergy)
Boston, Miami and Philadelphia—
Worksite actions throughout the week
With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.