Subcontracted workers at JFK, Newark, and LaGuardia airports went on strike Tuesday night after their employer, PrimeFlight Inc., refused to recognize their attempt to unionize.
According to the New York Post, more than 1,000 workers who are employed by PrimeFlight, a “subcontractor” for American Airlines, JetBlue, and United, launched the strike after repeated attempts to organize were ignored. The workers who are striking include security workers, baggage handlers, and cabin cleaners.
The Post reports:
“The workers have been trying to negotiate with the company for months over issues including wages, scheduling, seniority, workloads and safety regulations. A federal judge finally had to order PrimeFlight to bargain, but the company still walked out of negotiations, union officials said.”
The workers have partnered with 32BJ Service Employees International Union in their effort to unionize. A spokesperson for 32BJ, Amity Paye, told The Post that PrimeFlight had attempted to intimidate workers out of unionizing. “The company is telling them they’ll be fired for organizing,” Paye said. “Or the company will change the schedules of those involved in leadership.”
After Tuesday night, the strike will continue for three days. There will be a picket line at LaGuardia’s Terminal B early Wednesday morning, according to The New York Daily News.
Despite a federal judge’s order for PrimeFlight to recognize the worker’s union and wage negotiations, the company refused to concede to their demands.