Event will be preceded by rally and march and followed by three days of informational picketing at DFW Airport and public events around greater Dallas-Ft. Worth aimed at drawing widespread attention to catering workers’ campaign to end poverty wages, unaffordable health care in kitchens serving American
Hundreds of UNITE HERE-represented airline catering workers and their allies from the Dallas area and around the U.S., including John Samuelsen, International President, Transport Workers Union of America (TWU); Lori Bassani, National President, Association of Professional Flight Attendants; Mark York, Principal Officer, Dallas AFL-CIO; Brian Golden, President, Tarrant County Central Labor Council
- Rally and March kickoff: Post Oak Village Park, 3830 Post Oak Blvd, Euless, TX
- Picket and Civil Disobedience Action: American Airlines *New* Corporate Headquarters: 13951 Trinity Blvd, Fort Worth, TX
- Informational Picketing: DFW Airport Terminal D
Rally and March at 8:00am; Civil Disobedience at approximately 9:15am;
Informational Picketing at DFW from 4:00-6:30pm
Airline catering workers are calling on American Airlines to take action to put an end to poverty wages and unaffordable health care in the airline catering industry. One in four workers who provide food and drinks to American Airlines at its hubs and who work for subcontractors LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet earn less than $12 per hour, and on average earn less than employees for the same contractors serving airlines at Delta and United hubs. Meanwhile, American reported a 2018 annual profit of $1.9 billion, and is preparing to move into the gleaming new Ft. Worth headquarters later this month. At DFW, its hometown airport, which is one of the airline’s most profitable and busiest hubs, airline catering workers earn as little as $9.85 per hour.
Over the past two months, in votes held among 15,000 airline catering workers at 33 airports, workers voted overwhelmingly to strike when released by the National Mediation Board. UNITE HERE has requested to be released from mediation with American’s primary caterer, LSG Sky Chefs, noting that Sky Chefs may be unable to resolve the dispute without consent from American Airlines on the financial terms.
Media Contact: Alyssia Osorio, (917) 769-8984, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II writes in the report’s foreword:
This report, which grows out of organizing that workers have done to demand the enjoyment of the fruits of their own labor, demonstrates an inequity that can and must be addressed by American Airlines. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt said, ‘no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country.’ This is not simply a matter of justice for those who labor. It is a fundamental question of whether America can be.”
Key facts from the Executive Summary:
- The average wage of Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet workers at kitchens serving American Airlines at the carrier’s hub airports was just $14.39 as of July 2019, more than $2.50 less than those working for the same contractors at kitchens catering United flights at United’s hubs. That amounts to more than $5,000 less per year for a full-time worker.
- Wages for catering workers at American’s most profitable hubs are among the lowest in the country. Airline food workers serving American flights in Dallas make as little as $9.85 and just $8.40 in Charlotte.
- At two American Airlines hubs, catering workers serving the airline earn less than minimum wages set for other airport workers. Approximately 70% of MIA airline catering workers’ wages fall below that minimum wage rate.
- The majority of catering workers in kitchens serving American at its hubs in New York and Phoenix are paid the state minimum wage. More than 70% of Sky Chefs workers in Phoenix are paid the $11 minimum wage. At JFK, dozens of Sky Chefs workers who have served the airline for 30 years or more are paid the same wage as a new hire.
- Of the thousands of workers at LSG Sky Chefs kitchens serving American flights at its East Coast hubs in Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, Miami and at JFK, just 27 percent receive any employer-provided health insurance. Less than 1 percent cover their entire families.