STRIKE ALERT: Ahead of Busy Travel Season, Sky Harbor HMS Host Workers Vote 97% to Authorize Strike
BREAKING NEWS: 11/19/2021
Phoenix airport concessions workers may announce an indefinite walkout any day following overwhelming vote in favor of strike
Phoenix: HMS Host workers at Sky Harbor Airport voted 97% Thursday in favor of authorizing a strike. The authorization comes just one week before the Thanksgiving holiday, after almost four years of negotiations and no contract. Workers have not yet announced a date for the strike to begin.
HMS Host is the single largest concessionaire at Sky Harbor Airport employing hundreds of workers in over two dozen restaurant and coffee shop outlets. A strike would impact travelers arriving and departing in both Terminal 3 and 4.
“We are ready to do whatever it takes for however long it takes to win what we deserve: fair raises, health insurance that we can actually afford, and a pension,” said barista Victoria Stahl. “There is no reason that HMS Host cannot do these things. It’s disrespectful of the hard work that my coworkers and I have put in through the pandemic. They’ve rejected our proposals at the bargaining table and if this is what we need to do for them to listen, we’re ready.”
Workers are demanding a new, comprehensive contract with fair raises, affordable health insurance, a company-paid retirement contribution, protections for workers’ tips, and strong contract language for equal opportunity and protection from discrimination. Workers with UNITE HERE Local 11 have been in negotiations with HMS Host since 2017. Delays in settling a contract mean delays in wage increases and official COVID safety protocols during a global pandemic.
“I voted yes to authorize a strike because I have worked for HMS Host for 27 years and I still don’t have a pension,” said cook Santos Mojica. “I want to know that I will be able to afford to retire in dignity when I can no longer work.”
“I voted yes to authorize a strike because I spend over $350 a month for health insurance and my medication. It isn’t fair that I have to go to Mexico for medical treatment that the company insurance plan won’t cover. Host still hasn’t agreed in bargaining to make health insurance affordable for us and our families. I don’t want to see my raises spent to keep up with the rising cost of my insurance. That isn’t right,” said Lucia Salinas, a cook for 17 years with HMS Host.