FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—July 19, 2019
Contact: Meghan Cohorst, 239-503-1533, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, D.C.—On July 23rd, top-tier 2020 Democratic Party presidential contender Senator Elizabeth Warren will join UNITE HERE airline catering workers and hundreds of labor, political, and community supporters for a rally calling on American Airlines to take action to ensure that one job is enough for all workers in the airline industry.
Over the past month, in the largest such vote ever to occur in the U.S. airline catering industry, 15,000 unionized catering workers in 30 cities voted overwhelmingly in favor of authorizing a strike when released. The workers—union members who prepare, pack, and deliver inflight food and beverages for American and other airlines—say that poverty wages and unaffordable health care mean that they struggle to meet their basic needs despite working in the extremely profitable airline industry. Wages for airline catering workers in American Airlines’ hub cities are the lowest in the country.
“I’m going to be demonstrating at Reagan National Airport with my coworkers, and hundreds of our labor, political, and community allies because I’m barely able to pay my rent earning just $13 while serving American Airlines,” said Tenae Stover, who works for American Airlines subcontractor LSG Sky Chefs at Reagan National Airport. “I was evicted once already because I couldn’t pay my bills while working this job. My coworkers are facing homelessness, while American Airlines is making more profits than ever. That’s why I’ll be demonstrating against American Airlines with Senator Warren and hundreds of my UNITE HERE sisters and brothers, and that’s why I voted yes to strike when released. American Airlines can end this crisis today; I can’t wait any longer for the wages and health care I deserve.”
Next week, UNITE HERE will formally request release to strike from the National Mediation Board, which would be followed by a 30-day cooling off period if granted. UNITE HERE is prepared to strike whenever it becomes lawful.
UNITE HERE is a union of more than 300,000 members in in the hotel, gaming, food service, manufacturing, textile, distribution, laundry, transportation, and airport industries in the U.S. and Canada. This includes over 20,000 workers in the airline catering industry who are employees of Flying Food Group, Gate Gourmet, LSG Sky Chefs, and United Airlines