Today, a vote was held by Local 49 members that work for the Metropolitan Airport Commission on whether or not to authorize the union to take their bargaining unit out on strike if negotiations break down or a final contract offer is rejected. The result of the vote was nearly unanimous in authorizing a strike.
Local 49 and the airport will meet in mediation to continue negotiations in early January, and members could go on strike as early as January 25, 2022. Our members, in conjunction with their fellow workers from other unions, have kept the airport open through a global pandemic at great risk to themselves and their families. When the airport was struggling financially because the pandemic had shut down travel, our members stepped up, were team players, and accepted a pay freeze for a year. They continued to do their jobs for no increase while the cost of everything went up. Now, as the economy recovers, air travel has increased, and the federal government has bailed out the airports, management is unwilling to step up and give these frontline workers the respect of a decent pay increase they deserve. Management had no issue bailing out businesses at the airport, yet they refused to offer workers a respectable increase.
While management was working from home, our members were on the job, ensuring the airport stayed open and running. Management needs to step up and deliver fair compensation for their employees. It’s time to stop playing games at the negotiating table, and it’s time to put a respectable offer on the table that the membership can vote on.