As Chicago airport workers strike Tuesday, 20 other airports will see protests

Dive Brief:

  • Hundreds of Chicago O'Hare International Airport workers will engage in a one-day strike Tuesday as they demand a minimum wage hike to $15 per hour.
  • The workers voted to strike last Monday, and will be joined nationwide by the Fight for 15 campaign in the movement's "largest, most disruptive" day of action. Twenty other airports, including those in Los Angeles, New York and Washington, will also be affected by local protests.
  • Chicago's workers were the only ones planning a full strike, however. The decision to strike stems from a years-old battle between the Service Employees International Union and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. 

Dive Insight:

Freight and passenger planes share airspace, so even if the strike only affects cabin preparation and unloading time, small disruptions add up. The civil disobedience planned for 20 airports could cause further delays in nationwide air traffic.

Chicago O'Hare International Airport handled 143,462.7 tons of cargo volume last November, with express cargo shipments representing 5,732.2 tons. Shippers relying on the Chicago area hub for transport should plan for backlogs throughout the network, or make alternate travel arrangements.

Airport officials are reportedly prepared to mitigate disruptions. 

The Fight for 15 campaign stated it sought to draw the attention of holiday travelers with the day of disruptions, although the strike was delayed until after the peak Thanksgiving travel season. The SEIU stated the choice was made to not disrupt private travel, but the move is more likely an attempt to build good faith with the public as the national campaign reaches its fourth year.

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Filed Under: Logistics
Top image credit: SEIU Local 1