Good Food. Good Jobs.

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Food Workers, members of Unite Here Local 8 marched through the airport.

Waving messages on paper plates, airport food-service workers led a march through Sea-Tac Airport calling on the Port of Seattle to emphasize good food and good jobs at our airport. Port executives are currently considering changes in how food services operate at our airport that threaten to undermine the good jobs these workers have won over the years by joining together as members of Unite Here Local 8.

Working Washington and other community supporters were there to stand with these workers as they marched and sang through our airport for good food and good jobs. We loudly sang a modified version of “We shall not be moved” and after crisscrossing the airport we arrived at the arrivals hall where workers shared their stories. Continue reading

Eaves-dropping on Alaska Airlines CEO, Brad Tilden

Did you ever wonder what goes on when the CEO of a big corporate airlines like Alaska Airlines reports directly to international investment companies about how the company is doing?

The way these calls usually work is a very official-sounding moderator ceremoniously first announces the CEO. After he paints a rosy picture of quarterly and, in this case, year-end earnings, the moderator solemnly announces each investor in turn for questions. This is when the formal tone breaks down. The investors and executive staff fall into a relaxed easy-going Q&A – often calling each other by first names. It sounds like old friends knocking back a few beers and slapping each other on the back congratulating each other for a job well done. Continue reading

Fired up about safety, Sea-Tac fuelers deliver a strike notice.

By Nathan Jackson

“This here is a broken gear shift,” Alex Popescu, an Aircraft Service International Group,(ASIG) fueler said pointing at a blown up picture of a 5,000 gallon fuel truck gear shift. “ASIG fixed it as you can see, with good ol’ duct tape.”

Alex pointing to a picture of the broken gear shift in a 5000 gallon fuel truck fixed by duct tape.

ASIG is a poverty wage contractor hired by Alaska Airlines. This contractor treats workers poorly requiring them to work with shoddy equipment.

When Sea-Tac fueler Alex Popescu brought up workplace safety issues like soft brakes and taped up gear shifts to ASIG management, they ignored him. When Alex brought his safety concerns to the Port of Seattle in public forums, and then reported a broken truck to his manager, ASIG suspended him.

Workers have had enough.

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Alaska Airlines should hire contractors who pay a living wage

Op-ed by Mia Gregerson for the Seattle Times.

ALASKA Airlines has been praised for cutting costs and increasing profits over the past three years, all while maintaining quality customer service and flying its planes on time. What you may not know is that many of the employees responsible for the airline’s record of service do not actually work for Alaska Airlines.

In fact, many of the workers who serve Alaska passengers are among the thousands of poverty-wage workers who are employed not by the airlines or by the airport itself, but by low-bid contractors.

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Port of Seattle meeting disrupted by hazardous situation—a work shirt.

by Thea Levkovitz

Sea-Tac airport fueler, Alex Popescu, sat down before the Port of Seattle Commission on Tuesday, reached into the trash bag he had brought and pulled out his jet fuel soaked work shirt. Every day, fueling Alaska Airlines planes with broken down hoses and equipment, his uniform and those of his co-workers get sprayed and soaked with jet fuel.

While he showed the panel an array of other safety issues, from dangerously damaged ladders to faulty nozzles, the fumes arising from his work shirt permeated the commission chamber. The smell got so bad that Alex had barely finished his short two minutes of testimony when he was told that he had to take his work clothing out of the room because it was a fire hazard.

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