Chicago airport workers to strike after US holiday

Workers seek public support by missing busy travel week, union spokeswoman says

Chicago airport workers to strike after US holiday

World Bulletin / News Desk

Hundreds of workers at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, will strike Nov. 29, in a move that could slow holiday travel at one of the busiest U.S. airports.

But it’s “never their intent to disrupt travel”, said Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich, a spokeswoman for Service Employees International Union Local 1 (SEIU) representing the workers, at a press conference Monday.

The workers, some of whom earn the Illinois state minimum wage of $8.25 per hour, are demanding $15 an hour and union rights.

Miltko-Ivkovich said more than 500 workers -- including baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants, cabin and floor cleaners -- voted to postpone the strike until after the busy Thanksgiving week because they “want to gain public support”.

Appearing alongside SEIU representatives, airport worker Raquel Brito said: “O’Hare workers often can’t afford a proper Thanksgiving dinner and know what it’s like to miss Thanksgiving with our families. However, we respect families traveling to be together, and that is why we are holding off our strike until after the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Operations such as air traffic control and security screening will not be affected by the strike.

O’Hare was the third busiest airport in the U.S. in 2015 with 36.3 million passenger boardings, just 50,000 less than second-place Los Angeles International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta tops the list.

Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2016, 01:01
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