Chicago O’Hare International Airport workers go on strike

Published on : Wednesday, November 30, 2016

chicago-airportHundreds of workers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, went on strike on Tuesday to protest low wages, but officials said it had little impact on flight operations.


The strike, organized by the Service Employees International Union Local 1, involved baggage handlers, janitors, airplane cabin cleaners and wheelchair attendants, many of whom convened for a rally in front of the airport at noon to call for a $15 minimum wage and union rights.


While the organizers of the strike believe there will be delays and disruptions in flight service, the Chicago Department of Aviation announced that there will be no expected issues.


The strike at O’Hare was one in a series of nationwide protests held Tuesday that involved a broad swath of nonunionized workers, including airport workers, fast food employees, graduate assistants, child and health care workers and Uber drivers.


Some 500 O’Hare airport workers, out of about 2,000, voted to participate in the unfair labor practices strike, SEIU Local 1 spokeswoman Izabela Miltko-Ivkovich said. She estimated that’s how many workers were on the strike line but that number could not be independently verified. The striking workers are employed by subcontractors Scrub, Prospect Airport Services and Air Serv, which are hired by the airlines.


In addition to the protests at O’Hare airport, thousands of employees at McDonald’s restaurants and other fast-food establishments in more than 340 cities plan to walk out Tuesday.

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