Fight for 15 Airport Workers Fast for 24 Hours

Across the nation, thousands of low-paid airport workers nationwide fasted for 24 hours on Nov. 23-24, to demand higher pay, of $15 hourly, and the right to freely unionize.

They also delivered demonstrations and informational picketing at the airports, telling travelers of their mission for decent wages and workers’ rights.

The airport workers are part of the Fight for 15, the nationwide movement of low-wage workers who demand a decent living wage and the right to unionize without employer labor law-breaking, intimidation, harassment or interference.

Unions, led by the Service Employees and its nationwide local 32BJ, strongly support the Fight for 15 campaign among all low-paid workers, with organizing support and financing.

“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,” Local 32BJ’s website says.

“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,” it said. That strike became the 24-hour fast.

National Airport workers — cleaners, baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants and security officers  — wore buttons saying “Ask Me Why I’m Fasting,” the Metro Washington Central Labor Council reported. They also passed out petitions and flyers explaining their cause.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do,” baggage handler Alex Aram told The Washington Post. Aram works fulltime for a contractor at National making $8.50 an hour. “We all come from the same struggle, we all have the same thing in common and want it to get better.”

Source: PAI