Dallas-Ft. Worth Int’l Airport (DFW)
Food Assembly, 3.5 years
Member of UNITE HERE Local 23 in Dallas
Stephanie Kopnang wanted to come to U.S. because she believed she would find a better job opportunity than in her home country of Cameroon – something in an office, as she imagined what an American workplace looked like. But it didn’t take long after she arrived in Texas to realize that this fantasy did not match reality. For Stephanie, and airline catering workers like her, reality is having to work overtime every week just to afford basic needs like rent. But this past June, Stephanie was one of thousands of airline catering workers who voted to strike when released by the government.
My co-workers and I voted in huge numbers to authorize a strike against our employer LSG Sky Chefs because we know our value to the airline industry and wanted to send a message to the airlines that we’re ready to strike when the government releases us. I work at American Airlines’ biggest hub at DFW, which is also the company’s hometown where American Airlines has built a fancy new headquarters. Yet, we’re among the worst paid catering kitchens in the country. If I don’t do overtime, I wouldn’t be able to afford rent and monthly bills. We’ve been holding informational pickets at airports on some of the busiest travel days to make sure passengers know about our working conditions and will continue to do whatever it takes until we win what’s fair.”