SENATOR CORY BOOKER, MAYORS CARMEN YULIN CRUZ AND BILL DE BLASIO TO JOIN PICKET LINE
Baggage Handlers, Ramp Workers, Cargo Workers and Others Who Service American Airlines and Delta Flights Walk off the Job to Join Four-City Strike
(MIAMI) – Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, and Mayor Bill de Blasio will join striking baggage handlers, cargo workers and other employees of Eulen America, a contractor for American and Delta at Miami International and Fort Lauderdale airports. The airport workers will walk of the job to demand that their Eulen put an end to abusive and hazardous working conditions, including airport vehicles in dangerous disrepair with faulty brakes and missing seatbelts, inadequate staffing, health and safety concerns, as well as retaliation and threats over organizing for better conditions.
Eulen America, an airline contractor for American Airlines and Delta, has a long history of mistreatment of their almost exclusively immigrant workforce, including allegations that it retaliated against workers for speaking out. The Spanish-owned contractor has an alarming history of unfair labor practice complaints, allegations of retaliation, unpaid wages and health and safety problems on the job. Eulen workers will strike today in four of the nation’s busiest airports including Miami, JFK, Fort Lauderdale, Reagan National.
Strike line locations and media availability: Thursday, June 27
MIAMI & FORT LAUDERDALE
Miami International Airport @ Terminal D, Departures Level, Door 1
1:15 pm: Rally with Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Rep Tim Ryan and other electeds, and airport workers.
BACKGROUND: The Eulen strike comes on the heels of a recent CBS Miami expose as well as a Congressional roundtable discussion with Reps. Donna Shalala and Frederica Wilson on the inhumane working conditions for Miami airport workers, including poorly maintained ramp vehicles with faulty brakes, broken seatbelts, and missing windshield wipers; roach infested cabin cleaning trucks that carry passenger supplies, such as blankets; lack of access to drinking water and breaks for meals; and severe understaffing. In May, Eulen was in hot water again in Fort Lauderdale after it took over a wheelchair services contract for Delta Airlines and failed to promptly hire all the existing workers for their jobs even though many had been there for years—a violation of Broward County’s mandatory Worker Retention policy for contracted airline employees at FLL.
As Eulen faced scrutiny in Broward County, JFK Eulen workers filed complaints with the city Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP). New York City’s Earned Safe and Sick Time Act (Paid Safe and Sick Leave Law) gives covered workers the right to use sick leave to care for themselves or a family member and to seek legal and social services assistance or take other safety measures if the employee or a family member may be the victim of any act or threat of domestic violence or unwanted sexual contact, stalking, or human trafficking. The workers complained that Eulen had thwarted this right.
Now, Eulen airport workers in New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Washington, D.C. are striking today to send a message to Eulen that poor working conditions, intimidation, harassment, bullying and other anti-worker tactics have no place in our nation’s airports.
A growing list of elected officials at the local, state and federal level have called for American Airlines and Delta to demand that their rogue contractor Eulen change its practices and improve working conditions.
Despite intervention from high-level elected officials, Eulen continues to subject its workers to mistreatment and poor working conditions at other airports around the country. When the CEO of Eulen America, Xavier Rabell, was asked about conditions at the Miami International Airport, he said, “I am not the right person to ask. I am the CEO.” In its native Spain, Eulen employees are 96% union and the company claims to be good corporate stewards. Yet in the United States, its non-union workforce is regularly subjected to mistreatment and sweatshop-like conditions.
With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.