Aug. 13 (UPI) — Dozens of protesting food service workers were arrested Tuesday outside the Dallas-area headquarters of American Airlines, most for civil disobedience, police said.
The catering workers rallied at American’s Fort Worth offices to demand an end to poverty wages and cost-prohibitive healthcare for subcontractors LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet. They say they’re paid less than their counterparts, who work for the same food providers at Delta and United. The employees are represented by Unite Here, a union for catering workers.
Catering workers earn an average of $9.85 per hour at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.
“Our negotiating team and a federal mediator have been working since May 2019 to negotiate in good faith with the union representing our employees,” LSG Sky Chefs said in a statement. “Our company has offered improvement in wages, and is discussing numerous other issues covered by our collective bargaining agreement.”
LSG Sky Chef worker Tane Stover, who works more than one job, was among those arrested.
“We don’t want to go on strike but we will if that’s what it takes,” Stover told WBAP radio. “We’re going to continue to fight until one job is enough.”
Union workers said they were planning to picket at DFW Airport and other locations Tuesday night.
American, which is moving into a new headquarters this month, earned $1.9 billion last year. It said higher wages for food workers would likely result in higher fares for travelers.
“We believe in the collective bargaining process, and so we are confident that LSG Sky Chefs and Unite Here will come to an agreement that increases pay and benefits for LSG’s employees, and ensures LSG can continue to operate successfully,” American said.