April 3, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Contract workers at 10 major U.S. airports postponed a 24-hour strike scheduled to begin March 22 after ISIS-affiliated suicide bombers killed more than 30 people in attacks on an airport and subway trains in Belgium.
The more than 2,000 support workers decided to delay the walkout “out of respect for the innocent victims” at Brussels’ Zaventem Airport, Service Employees International Union officials said. “We must all work together to make our airports as safe as they can possibly be,” said Legesse Woldearegay, a customer service agent at Reagan National Airport in Washington. The workers involved include cleaners, security officers, and baggage handlers working for contractors at airports such as National, Chicago’s O’Hare, New Jersey’s Newark Liberty, and Kennedy and LaGuardia in New York. They have been protesting low wages, bad working conditions, and retaliation against union supporters. Another issue, said O’Hare security guard Sadaf Subijano, is that workers don’t receive adequate training for how to handle emergencies such as the Brussels attack. Read more