Features, Labor News Briefs, National, Transportation

Contract Workers Strike at Dulles Airport

December 24, 2017

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

DULLES, Va.—More than 200 service workers at Dulles Airport outside Washington began a two-day strike Dec. 20 to protest low pay and poor working conditions. “I want to have a better life. A better life for me and my family,” Lorena Garcia told WEVN-TV. The airport’s baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants, customer-service agents, and more are employed by contractor Huntleigh USA Corporation, and most make $6.25 an hour, 32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras told the Loudoun Times—below the Virginia state minimum of $7.25, because they can receive tips. “A lot of them have to work two and three jobs in order to be able to sustain their families, so a lot of these workers end up having to sleep here at the airport, upright in chairs, because they don’t have time to go see their family between shift change,” Contreras added. The strike was the third at Dulles in the last two years, since 32BJ SEIU began campaigning for “$15 and a union.” The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority will require all Dulles employees to be paid a base rate of $11.55 beginning next month.  Read more

December 24, 2017

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