New York Airport Workers to Join First Ever National Strike for Families

New York Airport Workers to Join First Ever National Strike for Families

What: With the upcoming Thanksgiving travel season expected to the busiest in recent memory, subcontracted airport workers at both JFK and LaGuardia airports will walk off the job tonight as part of the first-ever nationwide airport workers strike. On the evening of Wednesday, November 18, cabin cleaners and airport terminal cleaners from both airports will take to the picket line to protest low wages and unfair treatment from their employers: Roma, Gate Serve and Ultimate Aircraft.

When/Where:

             Strike begins (picket line): Wednesday 11/18 10pm, JFK airport, Terminal 5

             Picket line rally: Thursday 11/19, 7am. JFK airport, Terminal 5

Rally and press conference: Thursday 11/19 12pm. JFK airport, Terminal 5

Who: Striking JFK cabin cleaners who work for JetBlue’s subcontractors Roma and Ultimate Aircraft and striking LaGuardia Airport cleaners who work for Delta’s subcontractor Gate Serve. They will be joined by supporters including community and faith leaders, family members and local elected officials –NY State Senator James Sanders, NY State Senator Adriano Espaillat and NY State Assembly member Francisco Moya. Around the country, subcontracted airport workers who service JetBlue, United and various other major airlines will hold similar rallies to send a clear message to the subcontractors that any further disregard of the law will not be tolerated.

**Striking workers will be available for interviews throughout the day. Contact Amity Paye at 617-504-4492.

Background:

New York, NY — On Wednesday November 18, contracted airport workers from major airports that serve 393 million passengers a year will be striking for their families. The strikes will launch late at night on Wednesday November 18 and continue into Thursday November 19.

While airlines across the country have been making record profits, the airport workers who make these profits possible are struggling to survive in jobs that pay poverty wages, provide little to no affordable health care, and few paid days off. Various studies have shown that these working conditions can directly affect airport worker’s families and their communities. Like fast food workers, who they have supported during similar national strikes, airport workers have been organizing for the past three years and have committed to do whatever it takes to win $15 and union rights. As airport workers have been organizing for better lives, their demands for better treatment have been met with illegal repression.

To expose the illegal treatment that they are forced to endure at our nation’s airports, thousands of airport workers across the country have decided to go on strike.

At each airport, striking airport workers are taking action against individual yet similar illegal practices, the last straw after years of poverty wages, few benefits and subpar working conditions. In New York, cabin and terminal cleaners are striking at both JFK and LaGuardia airports to protest against unfair labor practices by their employers. Three groups of workers will be going on strike in New York:

  • Airport terminal cleaners who work for JetBlue’s subcontractor Roma at JFK Airport will be going on strike over unfair labor practices including threatening discharge for airport workers who are organizing and promising benefits to workers.
  • Cabin cleaners and airport terminal cleaners who work for JetBlue’s subcontractor Ultimate Aircraft at JFK airport will be striking over unfair labor practices including threats of discharge for airport workers who are organizing, interrogation, and suspension and termination of workers who organize.
  • Cabin cleaners who work for Delta’s subcontractor Gate Serve at LaGuardia airport will be going on strike over unfair labor practices committed by Gate Serve including refusing to respect worker’s choice of union representation after an election and unilateral work load changes.

Ramp workers, baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants, cabin cleaners, terminal cleaners and passenger service workers are also striking tomorrow in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, and Fort Lauderdale.

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

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