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Chicago O'Hare airport workers plan Thanksgiving strike

Chicago O'Hare airport workers plan Thanksgiving strike

Chicago O'Hare International Airport workers will strike on Tuesday, Nov. 29. Because, according to CNN Money, the hundreds of airport employees who voted in favor of a strike have scheduled their protest for November 29.

O'Hare worker Raquel Brito spoke on behalf of hundreds of baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants, custodial staff, cabin cleaners and floor cleaners, who voted to wait until after the busy Thanksgiving travel weekend to strike.

The one-day strike, announced Monday morning at O'Hare, is part of an effort by workers to win a minimum wage of $15 an hour plus added safety measures.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport is the nation's busiest airport, with 3.7 million passengers expected to travel this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Some of the workers now earn minimum wage, which is $8.25 per hour in IL.

This summer, about 1,000 workers in similar jobs and with similar demands working at Philadelphia International Airport planned to strike during the Democratic National Convention.

"It was never their intent to disrupt travel", said the spokeswoman, according to CNN. "What they're trying to do is get the powers that be to hear their voices", Tom Balanoff, president of SEIU Local 1, told ABC News affiliate WLS-TV. With AAA estimating that 22 million Americans will fly for the holiday, a strike at a major airport like O'Hare could've had a major effect on travelers around the country. Almost 2,000 employees - ranging from baggage handlers to security guards and cleaning staff - had voted on a walk-out over low wages, unpaid overtime, and retaliation against union organizers. Critical employees such as air traffic controllers will not join the strike.

The airport workers in Chicago are employed by Prospect Airport Services, AirScrub Inc. and the city of Chicago.


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