BWI Workers Rally for Improved Wages, Benefits & Working Conditions

BWI Workers Rally for Improved Wages, Benefits & Working Conditions

Demonstration organized by Unite Here, Local 7 and allies at BWI. Photo by Bill Hughes.
Demonstration organized by Unite Here, Local 7 and allies at BWI. Photo by Bill Hughes.

Members of Unite Here, Local 7, and their Social Justice allies, staged a demonstration on Wednesday afternoon, April 3, 2013, at BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport. It took place at the departure terminal of Southwest Airlines. The workers are fighting AirMall, USA, the company placed in charge of concessions at the airport by the state of Maryland. The union is demanding improved wages, benefits and working conditions for their members. Since the State hires AirMall, USA, Governor Martin O’Malley has a potentially important role to play in resolving this dispute. 

There are approximately 1500 concession jobs currently at BWI, mostly all of them are in the part-time category. According to a study authorized by the union, BWI concession workers median pay is “$8.50 per hour and the annual salary is $15, 912.” AirMall insists that the union study is “flawed.”

Unite Here members have recently testified about their working conditions and lack of benefits before a Committee of the General Assembly in Annapolis. Unite Here represents hotel, gaming and food service workers in a wide variety of industries. About 75 activists participated in the spirited rally at BWI.