Newark, NJ—Following the first-ever national strike of contracted airline workers, Newark Liberty International Airport workers, elected officials and community supporters will gather on the steps of Newark City Hall on Tuesday at 4:00pm to kick-off a 24 hour fast for a living wage and union rights, part of an even broader national action in 14 cities in support of airport workers. There are two press events;
Fast for Airport Workers
Tuesday, November 24, 4:00pm
WHAT: Kick-Off Rally
WHERE: Newark City Hall, 920 Broad Street
WHEN: 4pm, Tuesday November 24th
WHO: airport workers, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, Newark City Council members, 32BJ Representatives, and clergy
Wednesday, November 25, 12:00pm
WHAT: Press Conference
WHERE: Newark Liberty International Airport, Terminal C Arrivals (outside Door # 1)
WHEN: 12PM, Wednesday, November 25th
WHO: Newark Airport workers, NJ Senator Raymond Lesniak, Assemblyman Jamel Holley, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, 32BJ Representatives, clergy and supporters
BACKGROUND: Airport workers—thousands of terminal cleaners, cabin cleaners, skycaps, wheelchair agents, customer service agents, terminal security officers, ramp workers, and baggage handlers who will care for the estimated 25 million passengers traveling this year for Thanksgiving.
Airport workers in 14 cities including Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, New York City, Philadelphia, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Washington DC will fast in the days before Thanksgiving.
Airport workers and their supporters across the country—including in Newark—are fasting for a living wage and union rights. Unfortunately, going hungry and skipping meals regularly has become part of the reality for contracted airport workers across the country. At a time when most Americans celebrate and are thankful for bounty, many airport workers face hunger from low wages and job insecurity due mistreatment by their employers.
Although many Newark airport workers saw a raise to $10 an hour as mandated by the NY/NJ Port Authority, many workers are still struggling to make ends meet on such low wages. As airport workers have been organizing for better lives by speaking out for better wages and union rights, many of the subcontractors they work for have responded with intimidation tactics, unfair labor practices and in some cases the suspension of outspoken workers.
Last week thousands of airport workers at the nation’s 7 busiest airports, including Newark, went on strike to stand up for their families, protest unfair labor practices and to improve conditions at the airports. Elected officials and community and clergy leaders joined the picket lines and lent their support, outraged at the sweatshop-like conditions and poverty wages all too common at our nation’s airports. The support and momentum is growing – there will be fasts at 11 airports leading up to the busiest travel day of the year, with more and more political and religious leaders joining the fight.
Follow the Fast at #AirportsFast
*About 32BJ: With 145,000 members in 11 states–including more than 10,000 in New Jersey–32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.