May 9, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Philadelphia, PA – In a rally at Philadelphia International Airport May 1, dozens of Philadelphia-area workers took the day off without pay to demand that airline subcontractors pay workers the city’s $12.10 an hour minimum wage.
Many subcontractors still refuse to pay that minimum, said UNITE HERE, which organized the protest. “This isn’t just a civil-rights issue. It isn’t just a human-rights issue. It’s basic economic fairness,” said City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson, whose district includes the airport. “I will stand with you and make sure all of the vendors out here are following the law.” The SkyChefs service kitchen, which prepares meals for many flights leaving the airport, pays its mostly immigrant workers as little as $7.90 an hour, according to the union. “We will win, but immigrants and non-immigrants must not allow ourselves to be divided; we must stand and work together,” SkyChefs worker Donaldson Churchill McCarthy, an African immigrant, said in a statement released by UNITE HERE. The union said more than 30,000 of its members took part in May Day demonstrations “for humane, common-sense immigration policies, and to challenge racist, xenophobic, and anti-worker Trump policies.” Read more