Swissport LaGuardia Airport Tarmac Workers Strike Citing Safety, Equipment Issues
Early Thursday morning, dozens of LaGuardia Airport ramp and cabin workers walked off the job in a dramatic escalation of a years-long struggle for fair wages and safe working conditions. The workers, who are represented by 32BJ SEIU, held a 24-hour strike because they are fed up with their employer, aviation service provider Swissport USA, which has committed repeated acts of retaliation, interrogations, and other unfair labor practices in response to employee organizing. Swissport employees load, unload, and clean aircraft for Air Canada and Spirit Airlines.
“We have had it! We have had enough of Swissport USA’s culture of intimidation and retaliation when we speak up about our conditions at work,” Jonathan Q. Rodriguez, a Swissport USA Ramp Agent said in a statement. “Today, we took action with a strike.”
Swissport workers are demanding that the company end its retaliatory tactics, increase wages, and respect workplace safety. Across the country, Swissport workers have been sounding the alarm about the myriad of health and safety issues they have been forced to endure. This past April, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health listed Swissport as one of its Dirty Dozen unsafe employers in the country. Since 2013, the company has been cited 35 times by The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for workplace safety violations. The workers at LaGuardia, many of whom are immigrants, earn roughly minimum wage and have spent the last year demanding that management improve conditions on the job. Read more in the NY Daily News and DocumentedNY.com!