Over 50 airline catering workers who prepare food for American Airlines and other flights protested outside the airline’s headquarters after an action at DFW earlier in the day.
FORT WORTH – Today, over 50 airline catering workers from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport were joined by community allies outside American Airlines headquarters to protest poverty wages and unaffordable healthcare.
As part of the action, workers delivered a letter to the company’s Vice President of DFW Hub Operations requesting a meeting to discuss the struggles of over 800 catering workers who service American flights out of LSG Sky Chef’s kitchen at DFW.
“I’ve worked at DFW airport for 21 years, and every day I start work at 5am and often don’t get home until 2:30 or 3pm, sometimes six days a week,” said Noemi Funes. “Even though there are more and more fights and more and more work for us to do everyday, we’re still way behind almost all of the other workers in the airline industry, and if I didn’t work overtime every single day, I would live in the streets.
Despite an average of 8 years on the job, half of these DFW airline catering workers currently earn less than $12 per hour, with some earning as little as $9.85. Less than half of the workers have opted to be on the company’s health insurance, with some paying premiums as high as $126 per week.
Conversely, American Airlines reported more than $12 billion in profits since 2015, with DFW often touted by the airline as one of its most profitable hubs.
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“Our message to American Airlines is we’re FED UP. We shouldn’t have to worry whether we can afford rent or where our next meal will come from. We expect to get the same respect & security as most of the airline industry,” added Funes.
UNITE HERE is a labor union representing 300,000 hospitality workers in the U.S. and Canada. This includes nearly 20,000 airline catering workers employed by Flying Food Group, Gate Gourmet, LSG Sky Chefs, and United Airlines.