On June 1-2 airport workers from around the world held the first-ever global day of action to draw attention to the airline industry’s continued push to drive down wages and working standards, while raking in record profits of $36 billion in 2016. The protest was organized to coincide with the International Air Transportation Associations (IATA) annual general meeting in Dubin, Ireland.
While some workers traveled halfway around the world to deliver their message directly to the IATA executives in Dublin, others stayed home and staged protests in airports in Brazil, Argentina, Korea, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and Sweden. In the US there were rallies, press conferences, and banner drops in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, and other cities.
One report by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) finds that workers in security, wheelchair assistance, fueling, cargo and baggage handling, cabin cleaning, and passenger check-in face a working environment of stress, irregular work patterns, and insufficient wage levels. This global worker action was spearheaded by a new coalition called Airports United that is determined to secure economic justice and higher standards for airport service workers everywhere.