Airport workers to protest low pay, work conditions today

Published on : Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Airport workersAirport workers will unite across borders tomorrow, 1 June, to deliver the message that while airlines and airports are getting richer their workers are being paid less, worked more, and having their job security torn away. Workers will be flying banners and leafleting in over 30 airports around the world to deliver their message – supported by a new research report – to the public and to the members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), whose AGM begins tomorrow.

Actions will be taking place at major international airports in the following countries, with more confirming later today: Argentina, one airport; Australia, four airports; Brazil, one airport; Germany, nine airports; Ireland, one airport; South Korea, one airport; Sweden, one airport; the Netherlands, one airport, the USA, 12 airports.

Research shows that although the global airline industry is expected to make record profits of USD36.3 billion this year, airlines have been putting airport workers’ safety and the quality of services under pressure.

The report is being released by a new union group called Airports United, which is determined to secure economic justice and job security for those helping build the industry’s success.

International Transport Workers’ Federation general secretary Steve Cotton applauded the new group. He said: “Airports United is made up of the workers who are the backbone of this successful world industry. In return they’re being worked harder, for less, without job security.

“More and more airline and airport services are being farmed out to subcontractors where all too often working conditions are poor. This has led to high staff turnover and an inexperienced workforce. The workers themselves tell us that this is leading to flight delays, an increased risk of security breaches – newer workers are almost twice as likely to be unwittingly involved in these – and corners being cut as workers race to meet turnaround times with fewer and fewer staff, putting personal and aircraft safety at risk.”

Mr Cotton went on to say: “This new emerging network represents tens of thousands of airport workers in over 100 airports globally and aims to grow significantly over the next few years. It is launching with a clear mission to improve the industry for all concerned. The ITF is proud to back it.”

Following the events tomorrow, there will also be a press conference the next day, Thursday 2 June, at the IATA AGM in Dublin, Ireland.


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