Category Archives: Workers

Airport Workers Honor MLK Day with Civil Disobedience

New York airport workers honored Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by engaging in the same type of work he was doing before he died: demanding better wages and conditions for workers. The airport workers blocked the bridge leading to LaGuardia Airport in an act of civil disobedience. Several protesters were arrested.

About 12,000 workers at New York-area airports are employees of private contractors who bid for contracts for security, cleaning and other work. The result of the bidding system is low wages and few benefits. Michael Carey, a 47-year-old security guard at Kennedy Airport, is the father of three children. At an earlier rally, he said he is paid $8.50 per hour and cannot support his family on that salary.

The workers said they are also shortchanged on benefits. Among other injustices, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not a paid holiday for the workers. The protesters said that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which oversees area airports, should mandate a living wage and health benefits for workers.

Victory for Farmworkers: Walmart Joins Fair Food Program

CIW Walmart
Walmart and CIW representatives sign an agreement bringing Walmart into the Fair Food Program. Photo: CIW.

Florida farmworkers have won a major victory.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has signed an agreement with Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, to join the CIW’s Fair Food Program, which has brought higher wages and better working conditions to workers in Florida’s $650 million tomato industry. As part of the agreement, Walmart committed to helping spread the Fair Food Program beyond the state of Florida and beyond the tomato industry.

The CIW has worked since 2001 to improve wages and working conditions for Florida farmworkers. In addition to Walmart, the organization has succeeded in persuading McDonald’s, Burger King, Trader Joe’s Whole Foods Market and others to join the Fair Food Program. Now that Walmart is on board, attention turns to Publix, the popular Florida-based grocer that has refused for more than four years to sign an agreement with the CIW.