Joining 20,000 unionized airport food workers across the country currently in contract negotiations, catering workers at DTW hold first of many rallies to come.
ROMULUS – On May 1, hundreds of airport food workers who cater flights for major airlines such as American, Delta and United rallied outside McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport to demand One Job Should Be Enough. At DTW Airport, the majority of airport food workers are employed by subcontractor LSG Sky Chefs and are among 20,000 unionized airline catering workers across the U.S. currently in contract negotiations.
“Our work makes the airlines money. Without us, they wouldn’t have food or water to offer passengers,” said Shandolyn Lewis, an airport food worker at DTW Airport for 8 years. “That’s why I’m standing up to say that One Job Should Be Enough and am ready to do whatever it takes to make a change for myself and my coworkers at DTW.”
Airline catering workers, who prepare on-board meals and stock planes with water and beverages, are demanding that One Job Should Be Enough. While American, United and Delta have made a combined profit of nearly $50 billion over the past five years, many airline catering workers are living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet. Most earn less than $15 an hour and cannot afford costly employer-provided health care plans – leaving them with impossible choices between paying their bills or paying for medical care. Many of them work second jobs or rely on public assistance.
“Last year, hotel workers at the Westin Book Cadillac demanded that one job should be enough, and won improvements to their wages, benefits and protections on the job. This year, airline catering workers at DTW Airport are saying that one job should be enough for them, too,” said UNITE HERE Local 24 President Nia Winston. “Poverty and unattainable healthcare must end in the airline catering industry, and the working people who help make DTW one of the best airports in the country should be able to afford to feed their children and go to the doctor when they are sick.
“Today’s action marks just the beginning of a change in the kitchens at DTW and airports across the U.S.”
Most of the catering workers at DTW Airport are represented by UNITE HERE Local 24, the labor union that represents workers at Marriott hotels including the Westin Book Cadillac downtown. Nationally, the Union represents 18,000 workers in the airline catering industry at over 40 airports. For more information, visit www.onejob.org/airlines.
Contact Diana Hussein, 313-460-3119, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNITE HERE is an international 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. UNITE HERE Local 24 is the Detroit-area affiliate representing over 7,000 members in the hotel, food service and airport industry.