FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — February 1, 2020
Contact: Meghan Cohorst, 239-503-1533, [email protected]
Buoyed by support from Biden, Warren, and Sanders, Airline Catering Workers Break Historic Fast On Eve of Super Bowl LIV
Fasters remind American Airlines: “Your labor challenges aren’t over until the workers who cater your planes have the wages and health care we deserve”
MIAMI—Airline Catering workers who will prepare the food and drink for American Airlines passengers departing Miami following Super Bowl LIV ended their historic 6-day fast on Saturday morning with a breaking of the bread ceremony outside MIA Airport.
The workers have been fasting since Monday to call attention to poverty wages and unaffordable health care in the airline catering industry. Catering workers at MIA Airport earn as little as $10 per hour and struggle to pay bills and afford health care as Miami becomes an increasingly more expensive city to live in. Meanwhile, American calls itself “Miami’s hometown airline” and turned $1.9 billion in profits in 2018.
Workers also addressed breaking news that the unions representing American Airlines’ mechanics and fleet service workers have reached a tentative collective bargaining agreement with the airline. Their message: so long as airline catering workers struggle to pay bills and afford health care, American’s labor dispute will continue.
“For years, I’ve said that I’m ready to do whatever it takes to win what I and my co-workers deserve,” said Sonia Toledo, who works for LSG Sky Chefs at MIA, “I fasted all this week to make sure that the people who are visiting my town know that a side of Miami that they won’t see at the game, the beach, or at Super Bowl parties. I’ve worked at MIA Airport, catering flights for American and other airlines, for nearly three decades, but I still don’t earn enough to pay my bills and afford health care. While we broke our fast today, my co-workers and I aren’t going to quit until we win the wages and health care we deserve.”
On Thursday, Joe Biden spoke with the fasters via phone, and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Biden shared messaged of encouragement and support on Twitter.
“The sacrifice that these ten workers have made by fasting over these past six days is a true testament to their commitment make lasting change for themselves and their families,” said UNITE HERE International Union President D. Taylor, “American Airlines should know catering workers’ fight to end poverty wages and unaffordable health care is just, and it will continue in Miami and at airports across the country. One job should be enough for all workers in the airline industry.”