• Expect Delays: 1,000 New York City Airport Workers Strike

    A New York City union representing over a thousand workers at JFK International and LaGuardia Tuesday announced plans to strike for higher wages and benefits.

    “On Wednesday July 22 at 10 p.m. airport workers for Delta’s subcontractor Aviation Safeguards at both JFK and LaGuardia will launch a strike to protest their employer’s repeated, illegal threats,” a press release from Local 32BJ of the Service Employee International Union stated.

    Workers and union officials met Monday to discuss and vote on whether to strike. It announced the result of the vote the next day. The union told Aviation Safeguards last week of the possibility workers may strike. Aviation Safeguards is being accused of preventing workers from wearing union gear and threatening to fire them if they strike. The company does subcontracting work for Delta, British Airways and United.

    “This will be the first time airport security officers will go on strike during airport workers’ three-year national campaign for higher wages, benefits, union representation and respect,” the union continued. “With more than 1,000 airport workers planning to go on strike, it will be the largest action airport workers have taken so far.”

    According to the New York affiliate of NBC, the company has been allegedly making threats since the workers organized for higher wages and benefits. The strike will include security officers, baggage handlers and wheelchair attendants. The Associated Press reports the workers, which currently make $10.10 an hour, are demanding $15 an hour as well as the right to join a union.

    “Aviation Safeguards has illegally stopped workers from wearing buttons, misrepresented their rights as airport employees and threatened to fire them for striking,” the SEIU detailed. “This has happened repeatedly, despite multiple settlement agreements with the National Labor Relations Board in which Aviation Safeguards promised to obey the law.”

    The strike, however, is not expected to have too much impact on travel. According to The Port Authority, about 37,000 people are employed at JFK while about 11,000 work at LaGuardia.

    Still though, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, JFK is the fifth busiest airport in the United States while LaGuardia is the twentieth. Newark Liberty International Airport is the only other major airport near the city.

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