Airline catering workers in the US march for a new contract

July 28, 2011

Hundreds of workers in the US took to the streets recently to vent their anger over their airline catering company employer’s ongoing refusal to negotiate a fair contract.

Workers employed by LSG Sky Chefs and represented by the US ITF-affiliated union Unite Here took part in the march on 14 July to the North American headquarters of the German airline Lufthansa in New York City; Lufthansa owns the catering company. The march culminated in a nearby rally.

The workers, mostly those who work in huge industrial airport kitchens, are demanding that the company agree on a fair pay deal; negotiations, which began in October 2009, are still to be resolved and in February 2010 the National Mediation Board became involved. The workers are concerned that 18 months later, LSG Sky Chefs has failed to make a comprehensive nationwide pay offer.

Debbie Anderson from Unite Here commented: “Skychefs workers carried out an awesome action in front of the North American headquarters of Lufthansa on July 14. Hundreds of workers participated, from SkyChefs kitchens throughout the US. They marched for a mile to the Lufthansa headquarters in New York. Then there was a rally across the street. We are united and strong in all kitchens across the country!”

Meanwhile, shop stewards of the UK based union Unite, representing workers in LSG Sky Chefs at London’s Heathrow airport, showed their solidarity with the US action; they distributed information, spoke to members and displayed posters on the union notice board on the same day.

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