Subcontracted airport workers are picketing this morning outside United Airlines' headquarters in Chicago Wednesday, the day of the company's annual meeting.
Among those at the picket line are subcontracted airport workers, including baggage handlers, security officers, passenger service workers, cabin cleaners and others, from O'Hare and Newark Liberty International Airports.
The workers are demanding that United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz "invest in responsible contractors that provide good jobs and in turn offer United Airlines passengers great service," according to a news release from SEIU* Local 1, which is involved with Airport Workers United.
"While contracted workers are the front-line employees of United Airlines' operations at Chicago O'Hare, Newark Liberty, and Los Angeles International Airports, United Airlines allows the subcontractors they work for to continue to pay workers poverty wages with no meaningful benefits," which, according to the union, "undermines the safety and security of all."
"Airport workers," the release adds, "believe that United Airlines' passengers deserve more and also share the company's commitment to providing employees with the tools that they need to give customers great service."
UPDATE (4:45 p.m.): United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has agreed to meet with the subcontracted airport workers to discuss their concerns, according to SEIU Local 1.
"Baggage handlers used to make $22 an hour, but now we make $11," O'Hare baggage handler Raquel Brito said in a statement. "Airports are slashing wages and benefits for the working people who keep the airport running. We look forward to United CEO Oscar Munoz following up on his commitment to meet with us to improve standards at airports across the country for workers and passengers alike."
*The SEIU Illinois Council sponsors this website.