For Immediate Release
February 10, 2020
Workers will participate in civil disobedience as a part of a national day of action calling on airlines to take action to end poverty and unaffordable health care in the airline catering industry
WHO: UNITE HERE Local 100 represented airline catering workers and their supporters
WHAT: 60 workers and allies will be participating in civil disobedience inside the airport, they’re calling on American to take urgent and necessary steps to ensure that workers who cater its flights are able to escape poverty and access medical care.
WHERE: Rally begins outside of JFK Airport Terminal 8, Upper Departures Level
WHEN: Friday, February 14 at 3pm-5pm
*Participating workers and Union leadership are available for advance interviews.
WHY: American Airlines reported $1.7 billion in net income in 2019 and returned $1.3 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share repurchases in 2019. Yet, subcontracted airline catering workers who provide the food and beverages served aboard American’s flights at JFK Airport and around the country remain stuck in poverty.
Contracted catering workers at JFK prepare the American’s first-class meals and ensure its flights are properly stocked for on-time departures, but only 26% of workers at LSG Sky Chefs at JFK had company healthcare in 2018, and only 5% covered any dependents. In a 2019 survey by UNITE HERE of 2,240 out of 15,000 catering workers at the two largest contractors nationally, 56% of respondents reported having gone to work sick, 66% because they could not afford to miss time.
American Airlines recently reached a $4.2 billion agreement with its well-deserving ground and maintenance workers in TWU-IAM. It should address the concerns of all workers who make its operations possible—including the catering workers who continue to be left behind.