UNITE HERE Local 26 Endorses Ed Markey for US Senate
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2019
Senator Ed Markey to Join 100 Airline Catering Workers Serving American Airlines to Protest at Logan Airport
UNITE HERE Local 26 to endorse Senator Ed Markey at national day of action calling on American Airlines to take action to end poverty and unaffordable health care
American Airlines reported $1.7 billion in net income in 2019. Yet, subcontracted airline catering workers who provide food and beverages served aboard American’s flights at Boston’s Logan Airport and around the country remain stuck in poverty.
Senator Ed Markey will join UNITE HERE Local 26 airline catering workers. “I am incredibly grateful to have the endorsement of UNITE HERE Local 26 workers,” Senator Ed Markey said. “As big corporations have increasingly declared war on our unions, choosing shareholder interests over employee rights, Local 26 has never been afraid to stand up and fight back for the working families across the Commonwealth. I was proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with workers on the picket line at the Battery Wharf Hotel this fall, and it is a privilege to stand with Local 26 once again at Logan Airport this week. Together, we will continue to demand fair wages, affordable healthcare, and dignified work for every person.”
Contracted catering workers at Boston’s Logan Airport prepare American’s first-class meals and ensure its flights are properly stocked for on-time departures, but only 38% of workers at LSG Sky Chefs at BOS had employer-provided healthcare in 2018, and only 10% covered any dependents. 46% of workers there make below $15 / hour.
“We are proud to endorse Senator Ed Markey in his re-election campaign as one of our two Senators from Massachusetts,” said UNITE HERE Local 26 President Brian Lang. “He has been a champion of working people in the streets and in our nation’s capital. Senator Markey stands with us in our campaign for a green, livable planet where one job is enough to take care of our families. We stand with him as our Senator!”
In a 2019 survey by UNITE HERE of 2,240 out of 15,000 catering workers at the two largest contractors nationally, 56% of respondents reported having gone to work sick, 66% because they could not afford to miss time.
American Airlines recently reached a $4.2 billion agreement with its well-deserving ground and maintenance workers in TWU-IAM. American should address the concerns of all workers who make its operations possible—including the catering workers who continue to be left behind.
UNITE HERE Local 26 is the hospitality workers’ union and represents more than 12,000 members working in the hotel, food service, and airport industries in Boston and Rhode Island. Learn more at www.local26.org
UNITE HERE Local 26 Endorses Ayanna Pressley for Congress
UNITE HERE Local 26, the Boston-area hotel and food workers union, today endorsed Ayanna Pressley for the 7th Congressional District of Massachusetts. Our nearly 10,000-member union is one of the most diverse and politically active organizations in the City of Boston, representing workers in the hospitality industry across the city. The announcement was made at a union meeting where members discussed their participation in the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination earlier this month. Twenty-six members of Local 26 participated in the Memphis March and Rally on April 4th.
“The hardworking men and women of UNITE HERE Local 26 keep our region’s economy moving, and I’m absolutely thrilled to have their endorsement. Too often, their workers are an invisible part of our city, and the incredible work of Local 26 has helped elevate our consciousness about the struggles facing many of their members,” said Councilor Pressley. “As the wealth gap continues to widen, pathways to the middle class provided by these jobs couldn’t be more important, and I look forward to continuing my advocacy on behalf of all workers in Washington.”
“Ayanna Pressley is a visionary voice. She is always there for us,” said Karan Burton, Vice President of UNITE HERE Local 26 and a Roxbury resident. “We want to send someone to DC who reflects our community and our organization. We agree with her that ‘change cannot wait.’”
“We are proud to endorse a candidate who has been a relentless advocate for her community and given voice to the issues of inequality that impact their lives every single day,” said Local 26 President Brian Lang. “Ayanna Pressley has worked closely with us at Boston City Hall and we look forward to working with her in the halls of Congress.”
Watch UNITE HERE members, including Boston Local 26 member Gene Van Buren, speak about the role the civil rights movement has played in our lives.