JFK, LaGuardia Security Officers, Baggage Handlers to Strike; Say They’re Frustrated Over Low Wages
July 22, 2015
by Andrea Sears
NEW YORK – More than 1,000 workers for Aviation Safeguards, a subcontractor for Delta Air Lines at John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia international airports, say they’re frustrated over low wages and what they describe as the company’s efforts to block them from joining a union.
Pedro Gamboa, a baggage handler and organizer at JFK, said they are set to walk off the job tonight.
“We need a voice, like a union,” he said, “so when things don’t go proper we have some kind of representation.”
The 32BJ Service Employees International Union has been conducting a three-year campaign to organize airport workers. With security officers joining in for the first time, tonight’s strike is expected to be their largest action yet.
While the airlines are making record profits, Gamboa said, the workers’ wages simply aren’t enough to live on.
“If my wife is maybe laid off from her job,” she said, “we have to go and get government help like food stamps, so you could put food on your table.”
Airport workers have joined with workers in other low-wage professions across the nation in advocating for a $15-an-hour minimum wage.
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