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‘We won’t back down’: Over 50 catering workers arrested at American Airlines HQ in protest against poverty wages

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“In recent years American Airlines has made billions in profits. It is unconscionable that their workers cannot afford good healthcare or get reliable raises,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders

More than 50 unionized catering workers were arrested at American Airlines headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas on Tuesday as hundreds rallied to protest poverty wages and meager benefits.

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“American Airlines profits soar, but workers who generate its wealth by catering its planes struggle with poverty wages and unaffordable healthcare.”
—Unite Here

“Bad insurance, lousy pay, this is how your food is made,” chanted the workers, who are employed by subcontractors LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet. American Airlines is Sky Chefs’ largest customer.

Unite Here, the union that represents the protesting workers, said in a report released ahead of the demonstration that “wages for catering workers at American’s most profitable hubs are among the lowest in the country.”

“Airline food workers serving American flights in Dallas make as little as $9.85,” the report found.

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As Tuesday’s demonstration kicked off, Unite Here tweeted: “American Airlines profits soar, but workers who generate its wealth by catering its planes struggle with poverty wages and unaffordable healthcare. Airline catering workers are in Dallas this week to tell the airline one job should be enough!”

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, applauded the catering workers for standing up and “challenging corporate greed” in a tweet on Tuesday.

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“In recent years American Airlines has made billions in profits,” said Sanders. “It is unconscionable that their workers cannot afford good healthcare or get reliable raises.”

In an act of civil disobedience, workers sat down and blocked the road leading to American Airlines’ HQ:

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The protest comes just weeks after thousands of airline catering workers voted to authorize a strike as they bargain for better wages and benefits.

Tane Stover, an LSG Sky Chef employee who was arrested during Tuesday’s protest, told the Dallas WBAP, “We don’t want to go on strike, but we will if that’s what it takes for American Airlines to know that one job should be enough.”

“We’re going to continue to fight until one job is enough,” she said.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

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