FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Police have arrested 15 protestors during a rally outside American Airlines headquarters.
Airline catering workers are calling on the world’s largest airline to take action to end what they call poverty wages and unaffordable health care in the industry.
One in four workers who provide food and drinks to American Airlines at its hubs and who work for subcontractors LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet earn less than $12 per hour, and on average earn less than employees for the same contractors serving airlines at Delta and United hubs.
LSG Sky Chefs released the following statement:
“Our negotiating team and a federal mediator have been working since May 2019 to negotiate in good faith with the union representing our employees. Our company has offered improvements in wages, and is discussing numerous other issues covered by our collective bargaining agreement. While this is a short period of time to negotiate a complex labor agreement, we feel progress is being made with the help of the federal mediator. We remain committed to negotiating in good faith, and we hope that union members will act lawfully as they exercise their right to demonstrate or protest.”
In 2018, American reported an annual profit of $1.9 billion, and is preparing to move into the new Fort Worth headquarters by the end of August. At DFW, its hometown airport, which is one of the airline’s most profitable and busiest hubs, airline catering workers earn as little as $9.85 per hour.
American Airlines released the following statement:
“American Airlines respects and supports the rights of workers to join a union and bargain collectively—in fact, 84 percent of our team members are represented by unions. We believe in the collective bargaining process, and so we are confident that LSG Sky Chefs and Unite Here will come to an agreement that increases pay and benefits for LSG’s employees and ensures LSG can continue to operate successfully. We understand that a new contract will, ultimately, increase the costs to LSG Sky Chef’s customers, including American. While we are not part of the ongoing negotiations, we urge both LSG Sky Chefs and Unite Here to bargain in good faith and get a deal done.”
During the past two months, in votes held among 15,000 airline catering workers at 33 airports, workers voted overwhelmingly to strike when released by the National Mediation Board.
Union workers will picket for three days at DFW Airport and other events around the metroplex starting Tuesday evening.