LAX concession workers vote strike over wage dispute – Daily News

Nearly 70 employees at Los Angeles International Airport concessions who say their wages are not keeping pace with inflation have voted in favor of the strike and could announce a walkout on any day, officials said trade unions.

Employees, who work in American Airlines’ three Admirals Club lounges, voted 98% on Monday in favor of a strike. They are employed by HMSHost and represented by Unite Here Local 11.

LAX dealership employees plan to assemble on the upper departure level of Terminal 4 early Wednesday, December 22 for a one-day picket, supported by hundreds of other food workers who are employed by a half- dozen other airport concession companies at LAX.

Concession workers accused HMS of dragging out their labor dispute, forcing many long-tenured workers to go without a raise for more than three years, except for wage increases required by the airport minimum wage law.

“They are offering us 75 cents, but we are asking for more,” said Hugo Sanchez, an employee of HMS. “The company doesn’t want to give us more money, but everything is really expensive right now, like food, rent, gasoline and insurance… the last raise I received was almost four years ago. .

Sanchez currently earns $ 19.75 an hour.

In a statement on Tuesday, HMSHost said it already pays for 100% of employee health care and proposes to increase wages and benefits to at least $ 24.94 per hour in 2021 and $ 25.44 in 2022.

“HMSHost is also proposing to make the 2021 salary increase retroactive to October 2018, providing lump sum payments to its valued employees,” the statement said. “Unfortunately, the union refused to consider this offer, having walked away from the negotiating table on November 3 and failed to provide a counter-offer.”

HMS also said there is a peace deal between the two sides, which would prohibit workers from taking any action that could disrupt operations at the airport.

Unite Here acknowledged that it signed a peace and labor agreement with HMS in 2009 regarding the concession leases it had at the time. But the deal does not apply to employees working in American Admirals Club lounges, the union said, so they can strike without penalty.

“Our long-standing position is that the labor peace agreement signed in 2009 only applies to Host’s leased concession operations and does not apply to Host’s contract for the operation of American Airlines lounges,” said declared Unite Here.

HMS said the union’s actions threatened to disrupt vacation travel for passengers passing through LAX.

“We want to make the deal to take care of our employees,” the company said. “This move simply puts LAX members in jeopardy and takes away valuable salary increases and benefits.”

HMS workers represented by Unite Here at the Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport went on strike for 10 days at the height of Thanksgiving travel time last month over questions related to pensions, affordable health care and wages.

American Admirals Club Lounges are intended for travelers with an American Airlines Lounge membership or those with a day pass. Depending on the location, travelers can get free snacks and access shower rooms, satellite TV, and flight information, among other amenities. Full meals and drinks are also available for sale.

HMSHost, a division of Italian catering company Autogrill SpA, is LAX’s largest concessionaire, employing nearly 700 workers in dozens of restaurants in most terminals and Starbucks stores.

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