bag insert organizer allege threats and intimidation
BOSTON Hundreds of workers employed by JetBlue subcontractors at Logan Airport have voted to strike, citing alleged intimidation and threats over their attempts to organize as union members.
“We expect even more to join us in the coming days,” Dayel Gathers, who works for subcontractor FSS, said Friday morning, joined by FSS and ReadyJet workers at the Boston offices of 32BJ Service Employees International Union. “Illegal intimidation and threats won’t stop us from organizing to make airport jobs better, not only for ourselves but for the passengers that depend on us every day.”
The workers baggage handlers, wheelchair assistants, and cabin cleaners are hoping to meet with their employers to bargain for higher wages and improved working conditions, but say they’ve encountered threats over their intent to organize.
A strike date has not yet been selected, Gethers said. The date could be set at a meeting planned for this weekend, according to a union official, and the strike would likely occur within the next week or two.
FSS and ReadyJet officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“Yo estoy con ustedes,” Sen. “We all stand with you today.”
The subcontractors have engaged in “unscrupulous business practices,
” Boncore said, noting previous successful fights against wage theft and saying the workers are facing “poverty” wages.
“This fight, to unionize and strike, this is a fight we’ll win also,” Boncore said. “This is a fight we have to win because it’s a sad day in this country when people have to fight for what is already their given right, what is already the federal law.”
“It’s important to you to understand that we stand with you,” said Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, a former labor official himself. “You took a vote to strike and that vote means that we’re serious about asking the companies to sit down at the bargaining table and have conversations.”
The mayor also mentioned “friends” that he said are security guards. “We will stand with you as well,” he said, drawing applause.
The fight, East Boston Rep. Adrian Madaro said, is over “equality and justice.”
“We should not have to be here fighting for your right to organize,” said Madaro. “We shouldn’t have to be here fighting for fair wages and benefits for workers in Boston in the United States of America. Yet here we are and the fight continues, and we will be with you side by side until this is resolved and you have my word that we will win this fight.”