FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 24, 2021
Food workers at Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Orange County airports win significant raises and improved job security
Airport food workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 voted to ratify new contracts with HMS Host Thursday at Los Angeles International, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, and John Wayne Orange County airports.
All three two-year agreements lift workers at the bottom of the payscale to livable wages and establish stronger job security and anti-discrimination protections.
“I love my job and what I do, but the money I’ve been making hasn’t been enough to live on,” said Evelyn Torres, an LAX lounge attendant. “I voted yes to go on strike if we had to, and I’m so proud that now we have a new agreement and we’re getting the raises we actually deserve.”
Workers in Phoenix won an agreement that dramatically improves health insurance cost-sharing for employees—a critical point for many who were on strike for 10 days during the peak of Thanksgiving travel last month.
“The health insurance alone will be life-changing for me and my family,” said Lucia Salinas, a cook at Cowboy Ciao at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. “After fighting for a contract for about four years, I can finally breathe a sigh of relief that we have what we need and deserve.”
“The pandemic, being unemployed, years of going without—it’s been hard. But we’ve kept fighting to get through it. Knowing what we’ve won shows that it was all worth it,” said Reyna Gonzalez, a cook for HMS Host at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
HMS Host is the single largest concessionaire at LAX, Sky Harbor, and John Wayne airports—employing nearly 1300 workers at dozens of restaurants and all on-airport Starbucks stores. HMS Host workers also staff the American Airlines Admirals Club and American Eagle lounges at LAX.