Logan Airport workers strike for a day over alleged unfair labor practices, wage theft

Workers at Boston‘s Logan Airport conducted a one-day walkout Thursday to protest their employer’s claimed unfair labor practices. Fifty cabin cleaners and ramp employees at Logan Airport held a one-day walkout Thursday in protest of suspected wage theft and unfair working practices.

The strikers also allege that management threatened to dismiss three employees for union organizing, The Boston Globe reported. The employees are attempting to sign up with 32BJ SEIU, a national union representing service sector employees.

The Globe reported that in November, 32BJ filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging the management violated the workers’ freedom to unionize.

In 2022, the Globe reported that five employees filed wage theft accusations against the corporation for allegedly failing to pay them and committing vacation pay breaches. Some staff also allege that they were promised $3,000 sign-on incentives that they’ve never received.

Roxana Rivera, executive vice president of 32BJ SEIU, told the Boston Globe that, “with the holiday travel season upon us, it is more important than ever that employers in Boston and nationwide pay airport workers the money they’ve rightfully earned while respecting their legally protected right to unionize.”

“We are pushing Swissport USA to quit getting in the way of a full recovery at Logan Airport by treating these hard-working men and women right.”

“Swissport rejects any unfair labor practices, fully complies with applicable labor standards, and provides competitive salaries and benefits,” the business claimed.

The Globe said that Swissport USA, based in Raleigh, North Carolina, employs about 400 people at Logan Airport. Ramp workers and cabin cleaners get $18 to $20 an hour, SEIU 32BJ told the Globe.

The Globe said that Swissport workers in Chicago and Newark are also presently striking over claimed unfair labor practices, dangerous working conditions, and wage fraud. Additionally, the Globe said that SEIU is demonstrating at over 15 airports around the country, including Logan, Newark, and Chicago, to urge Congress to approve the Good Jobs for Airports Act.

The proposal, whose chief sponsor is Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, aims to increase airport workers’ wages and benefits.

State Senator and former Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards, State Rep. Adrian Madaro, District 1 Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta, and Boston City Councilor-at-Large Ruthzee Louijeunne joined the workers during a demonstration at Logan Airport Thursday.

Proud to stand in solidarity w/ Airport workers as they strike for fair working conditions.

I’m inspired by the boldness of Swissport USA workers, like the man at the podium, who walked out under threat of termination. #mapoli #bospoli @adrianmadaro @Gigi4District1 @SamvMontano pic.twitter.com/LCCatvsqjm

— Lydia Edwards (@LydiaMEdwards) December 8, 2022

I stand in solidarity with @32BJSEIU and all our workers enduring unfair labor practices, wage theft, and worker intimidation at the hands of firms like Swissport USA. We got your back! #unionpower@Ruthzee @adrianmadaro @LydiaMEdwards pic.twitter.com/mgEA5cF2eZ

— Gabriela Coletta (@Gigi4District1) December 8, 2022
happy to support the cabin and ramp staff Together with @Gigi4District1, @32BJSEIU is raising awareness today to put an end to wage theft and worker harassment. Workers at Swissport who want to form a union have valid concerns and should be heard. Without them, you’d be completely alone. Their support will be essential to your success. https://t.co/YSSm1eJaBc

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