Arlington, VA: On June 12, airline food workers who prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages served onboard American Airlines flights departing from Reagan National Airport voted 100% to strike when released by the National Mediation Board. The strike vote at DCA was part of the largest such vote ever to occur in the U.S. airline catering industry, with thousands of workers voting in 21 cities.
“I voted to strike when released because DC is one of American Airlines most profitable hubs in the country, but I can’t afford to pay rent,” said Tenae Stover, an airline catering worker at LSG Sky Chefs at Reagan National Airport. “My job is hard – we’re on our feet 8 hours a day making meals for American Airlines flights, we deserve to make $15 an hour. I think one job should be enough for all workers in the airline industry to be able to survive.”
Negotiations are ongoing but have failed to secure offers to improve wages and health care benefits for airline catering workers at Reagan National Airport and elsewhere. Meanwhile, the three largest airlines in the country, American, Delta, and United, earned $50 Billion in combined profits over the past five years alone.
“That workers voted 100% today to strike when released should send a strong message to American Airlines. Sixty-seven percent of LSG Sky Chefs workers at DCA make less than $15,” said Sarah Jacobson, organizing director for UNITE HERE Local 23. “This has reached a crisis level–airline catering workers at Reagan National Airport need meaningful changes, and they need them right now.”
The workers are members of UNITE HERE Local 23 and employed by LSG Sky Chefs, the largest airline catering subcontractor in the U.S. They will participate in their first public informational picket line post-vote on Wednesday, June 19th at Reagan National Airport. They will not stop work until authorized by the government.
For a list of participating cities and vote status information visit AirportStrikeAlert.org.