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Delta Airlines Cabin Cleaners Protest at LAX

Delta Airlines
Delta Airlines’ cabin cleaning workers rallied at LAX to protest the hiring of a contractor who might lower their wages. (Thinkstock)

Nearly 100 airport workers who provide cabin-cleaning services for Delta Airlines rallied at LAX on May 6 to protest the hiring of a contractor they say plans to cut worker pay and benefits.

Delta Airlines recently contracted with Gate Gourmet to provide cleaning services for the air carrier.

Tim Maddox, an airport worker and a SEIU member, said he is concerned because Gate Gourmet plans to drop workers’ pay from as high as $14.80 to as low as $8.75 and wants to change to a healthcare plan with higher out-of-pocket costs.

“We already have fought for standards here,” Maddox said at the rally. “The union has allowed us to have decent standards with family healthcare and some vacation time.”

A Delta Airlines spokesman said in a statement that Gate Gourmet has assured the airline it will remain in compliance with all applicable laws and the terms of existing collective bargaining agreements.

“We understand that the SEIU was certified to represent the employees at the prior contractor, but a different union is certified to represent the employees of Gate Gourmet,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant said. “Delta is not in a position to influence which union represents the employees of specific contractors.”

Airline workers said during the rally they do not want to go backward at a time when fast food and other service workers are fighting for a $15 per hour minimum wage.

“We want to do the same here at LAX,” Maddox said.

The cabin cleaners are considering holding a strike vote early next week if they feel the dispute is not resolved, according to the union.

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