PHILADELPHIA- In commemoration of Martin Luther King Day, several hundred low-wage airport service workers at the Philadelphia International Airport will join with workers and allies in 10 major cities— including Boston, Chicago, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Miami, Washington, DC, Seattle, and Portland— to demand a living wage and union rights.
Monday at noon, airport workers joined by a choir, clergy, community supporters and elected officials will gather at Terminal F, march through the airport and hold at rally at Terminal B/C departures.
The workers are protesting the gross injustices and inequality that persist at airports across the country, and are calling for change in the hopeful and visionary spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Enough is enough. We have rallied at City Hall, delivered petitions to the contractors and even gone on strike three times. We deserve the basic dignity that Martin Luther King demanded for workers over 50 years ago,” said Prospect wheelchair agent, Onetha McKnight.
WHAT: Philadelphia International Airport MLK rally and march
WHO: Philadelphia contracted airport workers
Bishop Dwayne Royster and Rev. Gregory Holston, Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild (POWER)
Senator Vince Hughes
Congressman Chaka Fattah
Councilman Curtis Jones
Councilwoman Helen Gym
WHEN: Monday, January 18, 2016 at 12:00pm
WHERE: Philadelphia International Airport
March begins at Terminal F, followed by march to terminal B/C ticketing.
VISUALS: Signs, banners, protesters wearing “Destination Justice” sashes, a choir
Like the striking Memphis, Tenn., sanitation workers who took action nearly fifty years ago, and with whom Dr. King stood at the end of his life, airport workers face inhuman conditions at work and the daily humiliations of poverty.
In Philadelphia, airport workers have gone on strike to protest against unfair labor practices by their employers and failure to pay everyone the new local minimum wage of $12 an hour applicable to airline contractor workers. Philadelphia airport workers’ calls for justice and respect have gone unanswered by their employers.
Following the first-ever national strikes at seven of the country’s busiest hubs in November and a nationwide Thanksgiving fast, baggage handlers, terminal cleaners, cabin cleaners, skycaps, wheelchair agents, customer service agents, terminal security officers and ramp workers— who keep our airports safe and secure for the traveling public are celebrating Dr. King’s life by continuing his pursuit of justice and equality.
With 145,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.