Philly Airport workers to strike Tuesday

Some Dems pledge to avoid Philly airport for convention travel during strike
Charles Mostoller

One-thousand baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, wheelchair attendants and other Philadelphia International Airport employees and their supporters will protest Tuesday.

Last week, more than 400 employees voted to walk off their jobs during the Democratic National Convention, set to take place in Philadelphia from July 25 to 28.

Employees, subcontracted through PrimeFlight, Prospect and McGinn Security, have beendemanding higher wages, the ability to unionize, a more predictable disciplinary system and clarity on sick pay.

Tuesday, employees are also organizing against their employer’s “illegal intimidation against their organizing efforts and failure to respond to reasonable demands,” according toService Employees International Union 32BJ, a union that wants to organize them.

California democratic delegate Susie Shannon launched a petition online urging Democrats to support airport workers in their mission for improved working conditions.

Shannon told the Philadelphia Inquirer in an email, “I am a newly elected member to the DNC from California and a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Philly and will be flying into New York City and driving into Philadelphia so as not to cross a picket line.”

Meanwhile, the Philadelphia International Airport released DNC preparation plans Monday, one week before the airport expects to welcome tens of thousands of journalists, delegatesand party officials.

Representatives for both the airport and American Airlines told the Inquirerthat any protests won’t disrupt customer service.

“Many of these folks are traveling by air to Philadelphia for the convention, and the [a]irport will be their first impression of the city. We want to make sure its a positive one,” said PHL Airport CEO Chellie Cameron in a statement.