A group of baggage handlers have been picketing at Philadelphia International Airport since this morning.
Though the Pennsylvania director of SEIU 32BJ called the action a strike, Philly.com reports no flights appear to be affected. The airport previously said airlines have a contingency plan in case of a strike. The striking workers are employees of PrimeFlight, an airline contractor, working in ground transportation at the airport (baggage handling, wheelchair transport, curbside check-in, etc.).
The non-union workers make as little as the federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. The minimum wage hike for city contractors Michael Nutter ordered in May does not apply to the PrimeFlight workers.
This is about our families. #PHL #PHLstrike #povertydoesntfly #PrimeFlight #Philly #Philadelphia #1u #airports #goodairports #labor #PA A photo posted by 32BJ SEIU (@32bjseiu) on
The National Labor Relations Board last month issued a formal formal unfair labor practice complaint against PrimeFlight, charging the company with intimidating workers who were organizing for better working conditions.
At a City Council hearing yesterday where workers announced the one-day strike, former PrimeFlight employee Misha Williams said she lost her job after she led a protest at the company’s office. “PrimeFlight should not be able to treat us this way,” Williams, who worked as a wheelchair assistant, said. “I liked my job, and I want it back.”