Alaska Can Do Better

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Ten years ago today (5/13/05) Alaska Airlines illegally locked out nearly 500 men and women, many of them with decades of service at the airline. At 3 AM Alaska Airlines bused in subcontractor replacements — people paid much lower wages with fewer, if any, benefits, working for Menzies Aviation.

Check out the video: Alaska Airlines: Impacts of 10 yrs of outsourcing jobs at SeaTac

  • Turnover among baggage handlers for Alaska Airlines is high; the resulting lack of experience and tarmac training causes safety concerns.
  • Since 2005, Alaska Airlines has made more than $2 billion in net profits.
  • The move cost King County’s economy at least $115 million, according to a new analysis.
  • In response, the voters of Seatac approved a 2013 initiative to raise the wages 4,700 airport workers to $15/hr, causing their own ripple effect.
  • Alaska Airlines sued to block Seatac Prop 1, and it now awaits a WA State Supreme Court decision.
  • Alaska’s action 10 years ago was mirrored again and again by other airlines. Today many U.S. airport jobs are outsourced to low wage subcontractors.
  • This is part of a national trend – economists say more than 1 in 3 baggage handlers and airplane cleaners live in or near poverty. Wages have dropped by nearly 45% of many of these jobs over the last decade.

ADVISORY: 1pm THURS: People fired by Alaska Airlines 10 yrs ago, current baggage handlers, at Alaska shareholders mtg

ADVISORY FOR THURSDAY 1PM
GREAT VISUALS,
PRE-RECORDED VIDEO STATEMENTS AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

Contact: heather@heatherweiner.com

WHAT: Outside Alaska Airlines’ annual shareholders’ meeting, community leaders, current and former baggage handlers at Sea-Tac rally to urge shareholders to do the right thing. Supporters are asking Alaska Airlines’ shareholders to pay subcontracted ramp agents and baggage handlers the wages and benefits approved by the voters in the City of SeaTac Prop 1 in 2013.

Planned solidarity actions for Alaska’s baggage handlers at airports across the US include Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit, Minneapolis, Baltimore, JFK and Newark.

WHEN: 1 – 3PM, Thursday May 7
WHERE: Museum of Flight, 9404 E Marginal Way S
WHO: Alaska Airlines baggage handlers (current contracted workers and some who were locked out 10 years ago) and community leaders

BACKGROUND:

Ten years ago (5/13/05) Alaska Airlines illegally locked out nearly 500 men and women, many of them with decades of service at the airline, and at 3 AM bused in subcontractor replacements — people paid much lower wages with fewer, if any, benefits.

In addition to setting back the careers and households of hundreds of men and women, Alaska Airlines’ move had a big impact on the region’s economy. According to a new study, Alaska’s outsourcing of ramp and baggage worker jobs resulted in a combined loss of more than $115 million (in 2015 dollars) due to lower worker wages and the resulting decline in economic activity caused by reduced expenditures in King County.

It’s been 10 years since May 13, 2005, and today Alaska Airlines is incredibly profitable for its executives and shareholders, It’s a much different story for the airline’s 500 baggage handlers and ramp agents at Sea-Tac, who now work for foreign-owned subcontractor Menzies Aviation for much lower wages and few, if any, benefits.

Current and former Alaska baggage handlers and community leaders are urging shareholders to do the right thing and tell Alaska Airlines to pay its ramp agents and baggage handlers the wages and benefits approved by the voters in Seatac Prop 1. That ordinance is still held up in court by a lawsuit from Alaska Airlines.

Heather Weiner
heather@heatherweiner.com

January 2015 Newsletter

We’ve Been Robbed

Over a 100 people gathered outside of Alaska Airlines headquarters late November to call on the airline to stop robbing us of our $15.

News crews pushed their way through the crowd interviewing us and taking video and photos as the SeaTac police looked on.

The fight for $15 at Sea-Tac Airport has gotten widespread attention. Journalists from around the globe have been watching and we have been speaking out about it to anyone who will listen. Continue reading