Press Release: 03/05/2019
Media Contact: Maria Hernandez
Nearly 700 Flying Food Group Workers at LAX Avert Strike, Win Historic Health Insurance Benefit That Makes One Job at LAX Enough
Affordable health benefits set a new standard for airline food workers
Big Three airlines now in spotlight for low wages, inaccessible health insurance affecting 18,000 workers at more than a dozen airport hubs
Los Angeles, CA – On Monday night, workers at Flying Food Group in Los Angeles approved the best union contract the airline catering industry has ever seen, in
cluding affordable family health insurance and raises that will increase some workers’ wages to more than $20 per hour by the end of the contract.
The new agreement with Flying Food Group in Los Angeles covers workers at two different kitchens who prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages for flights out of LAX, and will be a major step towards making one job enough in airline food service. The workers, who are represented by UNITE HERE Local 11, voted 98% to ratify their historic agreement, which comes after workers voted on February 13 to authorize a strike if contract negotiations with Flying Food Group did not reach a satisfactory settlement.
“This new contract is going to change my life,” said Juan Varela, a Flying Food Group worker who coordinates between kitchens and drivers who deliver food to airplanes. “I used to pay $332 a month for my health insurance and now I won’t have to pay any money out of my check for full coverage for me and my family.”
Workers from Flying Food Group LAX are now calling on major airlines like Delta, American, and United to take action to ensure that the 18,000 airline catering workers employed by the two largest airline catering subcontractors, Gate Gourmet and LSG Sky Chefs, are also compensated with better health care and higher wages.
“I am happy and proud of what we have won. I won’t have to choose between healthcare coverage and paying my rent. It’s time, now, for American, Delta and United Airlines to make sure that all other airline catering workers have this same piece of mind. One job should be enough for everyone who works in the airline industry.” said Norma Reyes, who works at Flying Food Group setting up liquor carts for flights out of LAX.
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UNITE HERE Local 11 is a labor union that represents over 31,000 hospitality workers in Southern California and Arizona. Our members work in hotels, restaurants, universities, convention centers, and airports.