Behind a giant banner simply reading “UNION!” poverty-wage airport workers, faith leaders and community members marched down Pacific Avenue towards Alaska Airlines Global HQ. Reverend John Helmiere of Valley and Mountain United Methodist Church, wearing the white collar of his faith, glanced over at the over-sized letter informing the airline that these workers have formed a union, and then knocked on the locked glass doors.
Thousands of workers at Sea-Tac Airport are paid poverty wages. These are the cabin cleaners, ramp workers, fuelers, skycaps and wheelchair agents. They serve the customers of Alaska and other major airlines with dignity and respect–something unreturned by their employers.
Spencer a worker for Menzies, a poverty-wage contractor Alaska hires to handle its customers’ baggage, wiped his hands on his jeans, stood in front of the Alaska Airlines HQ sign and took the microphone from the TV reporter’s hand. Continue reading