Get to the Airport Extra Early on Valentine’s Day — Union Protests at US Hubs May Delay Travel
If you’re traveling through any of these cities, you would be well advised to get to the airport early.
Fifteen of the biggest airports around the country will be even busier on Valentine’s Day. But it will have nothing to do with couples flying for love.
The union representing airline catering workers, UNITE HERE, has planned demonstrations at 15 airports around the country on Feb. 14 to to draw attention to the fact that a large portion of employees are uninsured, without benefits and making less than $10 an hour, according to a press release.
Although specific airports weren't listed, protests will be happening in major cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Marches and planned arrests are likely to take place in the roads surrounding terminals at airports affected.
The selection of the date has nothing to do with the holiday, but rather pay day as Delta Air Lines will distribute shares of its $1.9 billion in profits from 2019 to its employees.
“We’re happy for the Delta employees who are getting checks on February 14th. Those workers have helped the airline earn all of its massive profits, more than even $1.6 billion. But we’ve helped the Delta earn its profits too,” Lonmea Whitfield, a Sky Chefs employee at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, said in a statement. “Through participating in this day of action, I want to show Delta that catering workers like me also deserve to share in its success.”
According to UNITE HERE, more than 38 percent of catering workers at Delta’s hubs in Minneapolis and Detroit rely on government-subsidized healthcare programs. Another 36 percent of workers are entirely uninsured. The numbers are similar at other airports around the country.
The union has not yet released more specific details on the demonstrations, like start times or specific airports, but they will also take place in Charlotte, Detroit, Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Seattle. If you’re traveling through any of these cities, you would be well advised to get to the airport early.
UNITE HERE also held protests the week of Thanksgiving at airports around the country for similar reasons.