It’s official. Workers at Bags, who serve Alaska Airlines customers, at Sea-Tac Airport celebrated as the votes were counted in a Union election. We won!
We won this union even though Alaska Airlines and Bags Inc. tried to stand in our way.
Alaska Airlines, Bags and other corporate allies tried hard to stop us from winning for better pay and working conditions. Alaska contributed $160,000 to the campaign against Proposition 1, which includes a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, and other job protections. Then, after Proposition 1 passed in November, Alaska and the Port of Seattle spent countless sums of money seeking to get the courts to block it from going into effect at the airport. We had something about that.
Alaska Airlines and Bags then tried and stop us from standing together — but we stood up anyway.
We organized, talking with our fellow coworkers and even reaching out to the community. We got support from faith communities, community organizations, and workers from other airports in similar situation.
“The only way things will change is if we got organized,” says Gladys Hernandez a PDX worker who came up to Seattle to lend her support. “We decided to take the bull by the horns. Stand up and get involved. That’s how we will win if everyone comes together.”
And today, we won our union.
“I just want to say that I am happy,” said Habiba Ali laughing after the votes were counted. “My co-workers are happy. We couldn’t wait for a union. And now? Now we have one!”
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Alaska Airlines, the Port of Seattle, sub-contractors, and other big business all tried to stop us. We stuck it out, stayed together, and we won’t stop until we make every airport job a good job!